Cops to conduct security review of juvenile homes

 Delhi Police have been asked to conduct a security review of juvenile homes in the Capital after the National Human Rights Commission confirmed incidents of drug abuse, sexual assault and violence with surgical blades among inmates of Seva Kutir Juvenile Home in north Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar.

It comes against the backdrop of the February 24 incident, in which around 38 juveniles had escaped from the observation home after creating a ruckus.
There are 26 other observation homes in the Capital, including at for Alipur, Lajpat Nagar, Awantika, Kalkaji and Timarpur.

The commission has further found that the private agency responsible for security fails to stop smuggling of contraband substances and surgical blades into the juvenile homes.

“The private agency should ensure deployment of security personnel as per the strength and guidelines recommended by Delhi Police after the review,” a commission said in a statement.

The NHRC had taken up the issue suo motu and carried out surprise inspections.
During the visits, the investigation team observed that some juveniles used to take drugs and managed to sneak in some tablets and chewing tobacco inside the observation home.

It indicated lapse in screening of the visitors or the juveniles at the time of their entry in the home.

The allegations of physical harassment, intimidation and sexual abuse by some juveniles were also found to be true.

Such tormentors were primarily found to be repeat offenders and those transferred from the Tihar and Rohini jails on account of their juvenility.

The staff at the juvenile home were also worried for their safety as some of them were attacked by the juveniles in the incidents of October and December 2013.
It has also been revealed that a majority of staff at the juvenile home — 18 of 34 — is on contractual basis. “Non-disbursement of pay on time and their non-permanent status were demotivating factors under the given circumstances,” the commission added.

The NHRC has also recommended various suggestions for an overall improvement in the facilities and atmosphere inside the juvenile homes for the better care of the juveniles in conflict with law.

Last month, Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had also asked the Delhi government to submit a comprehensive plan on improving the management at observation homes in the city.

The incident of inmates fleeing from the Mukherjee Nagar juvenile home on February 24 was the fifth in the last seven months. At least 19 boys had also managed to escape on December 17, 2013.

On October 6, 2013, around 50 boys had rioted, torching down the superintendent’s office and triggering blasts by setting fire on gas cylinders.

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