Maharashtra ranked second in the country last year for the number of cognizable crimes registered involving juvenile criminals, according to statistics compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
The statistics revealed that Maharashtra registered a total of 4,570 crimes under the Indian Penal Code last year where perpetrators were juveniles.
As per the statistics, Madhya Pradesh topped the list with the registration of 5,446 crimes involving juveniles, while Bihar came in fourth with 2,345 such cases closely followed by Chhatisgarh with 2,180 such cases.
Rajasthan came in fifth with 1,880 such cases.
Manipur registered the least number of such cases with only three cognizable crimes committed by juveniles last year.
Sanjeev Dayal, director general of police (DGP) for the state, said that conclusions cannot be drawn on the basis of statistics alone.
“If Maharashtra has the second highest number of juvenile delinquents, it is also the second most populous state in the country. The NCRB figures have not taken population into consideration,” said Dayal.
Statistics showed that of all kinds of crimes — including rape, murder, molestation, robbery, dacoity, kidnapping and assault — juveniles were mostly involved in cases of theft, with 1,095 theft cases registered last year.
The second highest number of crimes committed by juveniles in the state last year was assault with 1,057 cases registered. Besides, juveniles committed 117 murders, 89 rapes, 75 kidnappings and abductions and 490 robberies in the state last year.
On June 13 this year, four youths, including three minors were arrested by the Dahisar police for allegedly killing their 18-year-old acquaintance.
The police said that the victim, Rakesh Mukhinda, would use abusive language with them and pick fights and so the accused killed him.
Satish Maneshinde, leading criminal lawyer in the Bombay high court, said that the trend can be blamed on the massive window of opportunities available in Maharashtra — particularly in Mumbai — for children to commit crimes.
“I think Maharashtra has several immigrants who come to the city to work, and live here without their families. There is no social integration and the aberration in the behaviour of people can be seen in the statistics.”