Juvenile home in dock after inmate complains of thrashing by seniors
A juvenile delinquent got beaten at a Delhi government home in Central Delhi for complaining against his seniors, forcing the Juvenile Justice Board to ask the police to register a case against home's superintendent. Chetan Chauhan reports.delhi Updated: Sep 01, 2010 00:22 IST
A juvenile delinquent got beaten at a Delhi government home in Central Delhi for complaining against his seniors, forcing the Juvenile Justice Board to ask the police to register a case against home's superintendent.
The boy, whose name has been withheld, had complained to the board on August 23 about the corporal punishment meted out by older children to him at a juvenile home run by an NGO Prayas at Delhi Gate. The board had then asked the superintendent of the home to inquire and submit a report.
But, the complaint became a reason for further torture, which the board described as "beyond" its comprehension.
The home's superintendent Bupinder Kumar denied the boy's charge in his report on August 25. Kumar said contrary to the charges, the boy's health had improved at the home. He said the boys' weight had increased from 30 kg to 40 kg. "As a juvenile he told lie for release. No elder children tease and beat him," his report said.
When the child was asked about what had happened, he initially retracted his earlier complaint. "The body language of the boy betrayed his statement and he seemed terrified," the board said, while calling the boy to the judge's chamber for further questioning.
After some counselling, the boy broke down and revealed his trauma. Soon after reaching the home, the board's order was handed over to a senior boy, identified as Bhaiya, who chased the victim to a carom room.
"Bhaiya started beating me. He held my head between his legs and beat me on my head with his elbow. He warned me that if I said anything against him or any other boys, they will not spare me," he said.
He was also forced to rub his nose on the ground in front of Bhaiya and seek an apology. After Bhaiya left, others in the room kept beating him till he agreed to retract his complaint before the board. The beating resulted in the boy's hand and head getting injured and severe beating marks on his back.
In its order, the board said the aim of the home is to provide protection to neglected children.
"The board feels ashamed in having failed to ensure the safety and protection of the child," the board said, while pointing out that the "ghastly treatment" has been meted out by a person who was supposed to protect him under law.
The board under the Juvenile Justice Act has decided to ask the local police to register a case of torture against the superintendent and has asked a Delhi High Court committee to look into functioning of the home.