On a day the Centre cleared a proposal to amend the Juvenile Justice Act, CCTV footage of five minors stabbing a 19-year-old boy to death in a south Delhi market brought the focus back on the rising brutality of juvenile offenders.
The victim, identified only as Sachin, sustained 15 stab wounds in the attack on Tuesday. The five accused, identified as minors by the police in a press note, were apprehended Wednesday on the basis of the footage and a statement from the victim’s friend.
The footage captured by a CCTV in a shop in Madangir central market shows Sachin and his 17-year-old friend passing by on a motorcycle when they are apprehended by the five boys. It is 3pm, the market bustling with shoppers. They attack Sachin, who falls off his bike, and stab him repeatedly, including in the neck. His friend manages to get away.
“The attackers ran towards the bike with country-made pistols and knives. They attacked Sachin without warning. Sachin tried to run but was chased down. The attackers finally cornered him in a narrow lane and left him there to die,” a police officer said.
The officer added that the five made their getaway by brandishing their weapons as leaving terrified schoolgirls, children and women scrambled inside shops to get out of their way.
During interrogation, the juveniles said they decided to kill Sachin as he bullied them and extorted money from them regularly, the police said. They also claimed he worked for a local criminal, Deva, who is currently in Tihar jail.
Sachin assisted his father at his shop in Madangir while the five juveniles, also from the same area, worked as sanitation workers and labourers. “All of them are school dropouts. They are being questioned and investigation is on,” said deputy commissioner of police (southeast) P Karunakaran.
Sachin’s body was handed over to his family after a post-mortem at AIIMS on Wednesday. His family claimed he had no criminal history or gang connections, and staged a protest demanding strict action against the accused.