A Class 12 student allegedly raped a Class 9 student — a 15 year old — inside school premises in outer Delhi’s Rohini area last month.
A 16-year-old girl was allegedly gang raped by five people at knife point in East Delhi’s Madhu Vihar in August this year and two of the accused arrested were juveniles.
These are not isolated incidents of juveniles in conflict with the law. Rather, the incidents allude to a worrying trend of rising juvenile crime graph across the country. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), juvenile crime rose by 78% during 2003-13. But their involvement in crime against women has increased alarmingly.
Incidents of rapes allegedly committed by juveniles rose from 466 in 2003 to 1,884 in 2013 — an increase of 304.3%. The highest incidence of the rape cases, committed by juveniles, in the country was reported from Madhya Pradesh (347) followed by Maharashtra (197), Uttar Pradesh (196) and Rajasthan (183) which was 18.4%, 10.5% and 10.4% of total rape cases committed by juveniles respectively in the country. Among UTs, 137 cases of rape by juveniles were reported in Delhi during the year 2013.
As against 158 cases of kidnapping of women and girls registered in 2003 against juveniles, 969 such cases were lodged against them in 2013 — an increase of 513.3%. Cases of outraging modesty of women allegedly committed by juveniles too witnessed a sharp increase of 172.8% during the decade — from 522 to 1424.
Juveniles’ involvement in other heinous crimes — such as murder, kidnapping and robbery too rose sharply. Murder was up from 465 in 2003 to 1007 — an increase of 116.6%. Kidnapping rose 455% during the decade — from 202 in 2003 to 1121 in 2013 while robbery rose by 334.6% from 208 in 2003 to 904 in 2013.