It took them just about a day to realize the error of their ways.
Hours after they had scaled the walls of the Juvenile Observation Facility located at Mukherjee Nagar in north Delhi, eight of the 27 absconding juveniles returned on Tuesday morning.
According to sources in the ministry of social welfare, the boys alleged to have been forced to run away by their more ‘criminal’ fellow inmates.
“They said that about six of the more hardened inmates had threatened to assault them with blades if they didn’t run away with them,” said a senior official in the ministry.
Addressing the allegedly inefficient security arrangements at the facility, Manoj Paridha, social welfare secretary, Delhi government, said, “We’re aware of the limitations that the facility suffers from as far as security is concerned.”
“We are getting CCTVs and other security measures to keep the inmates in check.”
Twenty seven juveniles lodged at the facility, including the leader of the notorious ‘fire brand’ gang, had escaped from the observation centre on Sunday night. They assaulted and injured three security guards with pipes dismantled from the common bathroom.
Officials said 60 inmates were lodged at the facility before the incident took place.
“We are trying to separate those with criminal mindsets from the others. We have contacted the parents of all those who fled the home on Sunday and are expecting about 15 of them to return soon,” the official added.
The facility has a capacity of hosting 300 inmates who are supervised by two welfare officers and provided facilities such as television, a cricket field and a classroom.
“In order to upgrade infrastructure of the juvenile justice system, an MoU for introduction of Integrated Child Protection Scheme was signed between the Delhi government and the Ministry of Women and Child Development today,” said the official.