They are young, brash and have a penchant for crime and they know they can take the law for a ride. Last year, the city witnessed an astronomical rise in the number of crimes committed by juveniles, ranging from petty thefts, arson, drug peddling to murders.
The police arrested as many as 450 of them were nabbed last year alone, a figure much higher than that of previous years. According to the police a lot many new gangs of snatchers have come up. All of them juvenile, and many first-time criminals. Last year four minor boys were apprehended for their alleged involvement in a series of robberies from northwest Delhi’s Shah Alam Bandh.
The most dreaded of these was Sanjeev Kumar alias Sanju who turned 18 only last year. He is allegedly the gang leader of the dreaded “burn and burgle” gang. He has been detained for burgling as many as 1,500 homes in south Delhi. The police heaved a sigh of relief after he turned 18 as they could not prosecute him as a juvenile.
According to the police, juvenile rights protection laws have made it difficult for them to take any action against them. “They commit the most heinous of crimes including murders, sodomy and rape. But we cannot do much. We cannot keep a file on them, we cannot charge or even arrest them. And they know that so they commit crimes without any fear of the law,”said a senior police officer on the condition of anonymity.