Observation home doesn't want runaway boys back

October 6 rampage may recur, fears superintendent

The head of the state-run Adharshila observation home from where 33 juveniles broke out on October 6 has opposed the move to bring those nabbed back to his institution.

“These boys are the ones who steered the rampage before escaping from the facility. If they are brought back here again, they will cause the same damage,” the home superintendent told Deccan Herald.

“The Adharshila observation home for juveniles is not meant for those serving long detentions. In practice, however, they are kept at this facility for long duration,” Kumar said.

Earlier this month, 33 boys broke out from this institution in north-west Delhi’s Kingsway Camp.

The violence was led by five boys, who are aged between 16 to 18 years, who should have been shifted to another facility.

“The Adharshila observation home is a remand home. Juveniles are kept here for a week to three months at the most. Ten boys were shifted here from a correction facility Majnu Ka Tilla in north Delhi, who steered a rampage before breaking out from the Adharshila observation home,” superintendent Anil Kumar said.

The institution chief wrote letters to the Juvenile Justice Board to get these boys shifted back to Majnu Ka Tila. “But the board turned a blind eye. If these juveniles are kept here for longer, the danger of another such breakout increases,” Kumar said.

“Even the structure of the observation home favours boys in their daring attempt. The first floor gives boys access to reach the terrace and they can jump off it and run away as it happened this time. So there shouldn’t be a first floor,” he added.

According to welfare officers at the home, juveniles are always asking for drugs and if the guards refuse, boys start breaking things.

“We are helpless as our hands are tied by the Juvenile Justice Act and the boys aged between 16 and 18 have the potential to take any extreme step. They use scissors as knives and not only do they bully the younger ones, but they also hurt the guards,” a welfare officer said.

Earlier this month, after going on an eight-hour rampage, vandalism and arson spree, 33 juveniles broke out of the Adharshila home. Of the lot, 15 were apprehended by police and brought back to the rehabilitation centre by Sunday afternoon.Reportedly, sixteen boys are still at large.

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