Juvenile held for theft dies of torture at remand home

Juvenile held for theft dies of torture at remand home

In a shocking incident, a 17-year-old boy, who was arrested on charge of theft, died in a hospital after he was allegedly assaulted brutally at a juvenile remand home in Matunga here.

The state Human Rights Commission took suo motu cognisance of the incident and sought details from the police and remand home officials.

Justice S R Bannurmath, SHRC chairperson, told PTI that as soon the rights panel came to know about the incident, it issued a notice to the police and senior officials of the remand home asking them to provide the details.

Amir Jamal Khan, a resident of suburban Powai, was admitted to the hospital on May 24 in a critical condition, and died yesterday, police said.

He was arrested by Powai police on April 17 for allegedly stealing a woman's purse and then sent in custody to Dongri remand home near Byculla. After a few days, he was shifted to David Sassoon Remand Home at Matunga.

A sub-inspector at Shivaji Park police station said a police team had gone to Nair hospital when the boy was admitted there and recorded his statement in which he named some inmates and a senior official of David Sassoon Juvenile Home at Matunga, who allegedly assaulted, tortured and sodomised him.

Based on the statement, police yesterday registered an FIR against 12 inmates of the remand home.

Police have sought permission from the child welfare committee to question them.
"Since they are minors, we have to take prior permission from the child welfare committee and we have approached it in this regard," police said.

Police have also sought details from doctors at the hospital about the victim's injuries which led to his death.

Meanwhile, state Women and Child Welfare Minister Vidya Thakur said the department has also sought details of the incident.

"What initial information I have been given is that the boy was sent in the remand home on April 20 and he was handed over to his parents on May 20. The incident of assault took place few days after he was handed over," said Vidya Thakur, Minister of state for Women and Child Development.

Thakur said she has asked for the details of the boy's custody from the remand home and police officials.

"It is a matter of investigation that when and where this boy was assaulted and what was the reason," she said, adding that the truth will come out after an inquiry.

Human rights activist Abha Singh has demanded a comprehensive probe into the incident.
"Whenever a death occurs in custody, it is handled by CID. Hence, a thorough investigation needs to be conducted. This incident shows that sexual exploitation is rampant in remand homes and this has to be stopped at any cost," she added.

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