Rising crime by juveniles a new headache for Delhi Police

  • Karn Pratap Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 28, 2015 00:48 IST
The December 16 gang rape triggered a debate over the legal age for juveniles in conflict with law. (Mohd Zakir/HT File Photo)

A month ago, a teen couple, semi-professional choreographers, were nabbed for allegedly kidnapping a schoolboy and then killing him in Uttarakhand’s Ranikhet. The minor accused planned the crime to earn Rs 60,000, which they needed to participate in a TV dance reality show.

On Monday, another juvenile was apprehended for allegedly killing two men in 48 hours as part of an alleged ritual that a fake ‘godman’ had directed him to follow. The minor ‘sacrificed’ his victims to earn name and fame, as per the method suggested by a ‘holy man’ in his dreams.

Rising juvenile delinquency has come as a major challenge for the Delhi Police. In the recent past, several minors were found involved in heinous crimes, including rape and sexual assault, as demands for amending the juvenile justice act got louder.

“Our studies on crimes committed by juveniles have shown that they were committed for achieving petty objectives like quick and easy money, issues related to friendship with the opposite sex, fulfilling aspirations of earning name or leading a lavish lifestyle. About 30% to 40% of the first timers were juveniles,” said a senior police officer, adding several social and economical factors force teenagers to enter the crime world.

Delhi Police statistics show that around 1,200 juveniles were apprehended in the first six months of this year for committing different crimes. In 2014, more than 2,000 juveniles were in conflict with the law against almost the same number of cases.

Last week, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal vouched for bringing the juvenile age to 15 years following a brutal gang-rape case in Nihal Vihar in which two juveniles allegedly assaulted a 2-year-old girl. Delhi Police chief BS Bassi, in an exclusive interview with HT, also said that he was in favour of bringing down the juvenile age to 16.

“Apart from the classical crime handling approach by police, government organs should also come forward with certain initiatives to control the rising trend of crimes by juveniles,” said Deependra Pathak, joint CP (SW range).

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