Juvenile crime registers dip, more repeat offenders

Punjab has segregated three observation homes for boys according to the age of juveniles. Now all inmates aged between 7 to 15 are placed in the observation home at Faridkot and those between 16 and 18 years in Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana

In January 2012, a 14-year-old Bathinda boy was sent to juvenile home in Faridkot after being charged under the NDPS Act. Released on bail a few months later, he was back in the juvenile home on June 6 facing fresh charges under the NDPS Act.

Two juveniles accused of theft were sent to Hoshiarpur observation home in January and October last year. Granted bail, the first was back in the home in October and second in January this year, once again facing charges of theft.

In Ludhiana, two inmates released last year returned to the juvenile home in January and February respectively this year. They now face another trail for theft and brawl.

While in one year, at least five juveniles have returned to the observation homes in Punjab, six others sent to Ludhiana observation home on charges of theft, were shifted to a jail after being slapped with more serious charges for sodomy, vandalism and assault. On December 15 last year, the six were transferred to borstal jail (for inmates aged between 18 to 21) in Ludhiana after observation home superintendent told a local court that they vandalised property, beat up other children and sodomised a 16-year-old inmate.

Through a notification dated August 31, 2012, Punjab had segregated the three observation homes for boys according to the age of juveniles. Now all inmates aged between 7 to 15 are placed in the observation home at Faridkot and those between 16 and 18 years in Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana. Of the 141 inmates currently in the three homes, 84 per cent are between 16 to 18 years. The one for girls up to 18 years in Jalandhar has 15 inmates.

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