On Saturday night, inmates of a north Delhi juvenile home ran riot for nearly six hours. Twenty two of them escaped the reformatory by throwing burning LPG cylinders on the staff and setting exit points on fire.
The ruckus started at 8:30 pm on Saturday when a group of inmates in the 16-18 age group at Sewa Kutir, a children home at Kingsway Camp, climbed the wall and started pelting stones on the staff and guards posted there.
It is not clear what triggered the violence but at least seven of the 22 who escaped are repeat offenders and had escaped on earlier occasions too. Police managed to bring back 15 of them, who were hiding in and under the buses parked at a bus depot nearby.
“The 15 feet wall is supported by barb wires but that didn't make any difference. They put mattresses over these barbed wires and climbed over to the other side. Most of these inmates are involved in crimes such as robbery, snatching and dacoity,” said a staff of the home.
According to another staff member, from 8:30 pm to midnight, the children attacked them with bricks, stones and whatever they could lay their hands on. “On the other side of the home, which opened to a playground, the children threw burning cylinders on the staff. Two cylinders burst and there was a ball of fire. Luckily, we escaped without injuries,” another staff member said.
After midnight nearly two dozen children jumped out of the home and burnt the home superintendent’s office, pantry and the storehouse. They used live wires to initiate spark and burnt down the LCD TV, microwave oven, an air-conditioner, office files and all the records. The complex, which houses several other offices got completely damaged as the inmates set at least three gates on fire. The children also looted cash from the office.
They finally escaped around 3:30 am climbing the three boundary walls. According to police, though they were present at the spot, but they couldn’t use force as the rioters were below the age of 18.