Repeated instances of misapprehension and police questioning made a criminal out of the 16-year-old boy who was caught for burglary at the residence of Harish Khare, media advisor to the Prime Minister.
Police sources said when the boy was 10 years old, he had been picked by the local police several times for questioning in theft cases.
“His neighbour used to commit theft with the help of his juvenile son. But the local police used to pick up this boy for questioning though he was not involved. After being wrongly picked up several times, he decided to indulge in crime,” said a senior police officer requesting anonymity. The boy has told the police this gang used to send him to commit burglary.
“He has disclosed he and his friend who is also a juvenile are being used for committing thefts and burglaries by their co-accused Rohit, a middle-aged person, as it is easy for them to gain entry into people’s homes,” the officer added.
Rohit had been running an organised crime racket using juveniles. The police said there were many gangs that did the same thing.
The police said in all types of crime, including murder, snatching and robbery, the involvement of juveniles had increased because they could not be put behind bars.
“The involvement of juveniles in crime is a disturbing trend. At this stage if we could stop them from becoming habitual offenders, it would be a great help for society. Most of the juveniles we have caught are school dropouts,” the officer added.