A 15-year-old boy was kept locked up at home by his parents for several months, allegedly to keep him away from bad habits.
The boy, whom his parents said was a substance addict, was rescued on Thursday by the police with the help of an NGO and the Child Welfare Committee.
According to CWC, the boy was given food but not allowed to come out of the room.
A neighbour tipped off the NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, about the boy and they rescued him from his house at Khajuri Khas in north east Delhi.
“He was kept in a small room with a tiny window and a door with bars and two locks for the last few months by his parents. When our team along with staff of Khajuri Khas police station reached there, they found boy in a sorry state, with broken bits of food on a plate, half-eaten bones and an empty bottle of water lying next to the bed,” said Rakesh Senger, Director (victim assistance and campaign) of NGO.
The boy’s parents said he being kept locked up to prevent him from running away. He was given food from between the bars on the door and no one visited him for days on end.
He was taken to the CWC in Dilshad Garden and produced before the magistrate. “He was nervous, lost and mostly quiet- saying he had asked his parents to keep him away from company,” said Senger.
After the hearing, the CWC ruled that it was inhuman to keep the child locked in these conditions and directed the child be taken to the Muskaan Foundation in Dwarka, a rehabilitation centre and get treated there, with the CWC being given fortnightly updates about the boy’s condition.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act 2015 protects a juvenile from cruelty and and treats such bondage as unlawful.
“He will be produced before the CWC every fortnight and boy’s custody will be decided later. If found fit, his custody will be given to the father. So far, no action has been initiated against the parents,” said a CWC member.