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Agitating boys chase away judges from juvenile home

Juveniles at the children's home in Majnu ka Tila in north Delhi on Saturday pelted bricks, forcing two judges of the Delhi High Court's Juvenile Justice Committee to return from the main gate. Chetan Chauhan reports.

delhi Updated: Aug 11, 2013 01:34 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Juveniles at the children's home in Majnu ka Tila in north Delhi on Saturday pelted bricks, forcing two judges of the Delhi High Court's Juvenile Justice Committee to return from the main gate.

They judges had gone there to inspect the home after the juveniles lodged at the home went on a rampage on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

The boys, aged between 16 and 18 years, who have been demanding parole, also pelted stones at residents of the neighbouring Tibetan colony and broke window panes of a few houses.

A person was said to be injured in the incident, which prompted members of the Tibetan community to gather at the main gate of the home to protest. This resulted in another round of stone throwing.

"The situation is getting out of control as the boys know very well that we cannot use force against them. They are not willing to shun violence and discuss issues with us," a senior Delhi government official said.

The boundary walls of three homes in the complex have been demolished, providing a passage for the boys to move freely from one home to another.

This has added to the numeric strength of troublemakers and is making managing them a difficult task for the officials.

The boys did not allow public works department workers, who had gone there on Friday, to repair the walls.

On Saturday, trouble started when the high court committee members reached the main gate of the home. Seeing a car coming, the boys ran to the roof and started throwing bricks. When the situation began turning ugly, the judges returned even as the welfare officers tried to cool them down.

They boys thought that some of them may be shifted to another home to end the growing dissidence, an official said. They had earlier thwarted an attempt by the Delhi Armed Police to transfer some of the trouble-makers to Sewa Kutir, another children's home.

This was following a verbal instruction to shift them by a judicial magistrate.

On Wednesday night, the authorities conducted searches in various rooms and found cell phones, iron rods and 'bidis' hidden inside the beddings. Sensing disciplinary action, the juveniles had attacked the main office and burnt official records.

They also removed extra bedding from the store-room and burnt it on the roof.

The Delhi government's women and child welfare department has, however, restrained itself to issue directions to use force to bring normalcy in the house.

The officials have been instructed to counsel the agitating inmates, who claim that quality of food was bad and bedding were not clean, instead of using harsh measures.