J&K juvenile home houses two-third 'stone pelters' | india | Hindustan Times
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J&K juvenile home houses two-third 'stone pelters'

india Updated: Sep 10, 2012 20:39 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times
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Since a year after its inception, nearly 60% of adolescents lodged in Kashmir's only juvenile home from across the valley, were booked under various charges of stone pelting.

Official statistics acquired by Hindustan Times revealed that from August 23, 2011 till date, 137 juveniles were lodged in the home established at picturesque Harwan area of Srinagar city in July 2011.

"Over 80 cases among the total were of those boys allegedly involved in stone pelting," said Superintendent of the juvenile facility, Ghulam Ahmad Manphoo.

The house was established by government after coming under fire from human rights bodies and civil society for putting juveniles in jails particularly in wake of teenagers being involved in the stone pelting since 2008 unrest.

Manphoo said that boys as young as 10-years up-to the age of 16 years were put in this 'observation home' which currently has only 05 inmates.

"Most of the stone pelting cases belong to old city," he stated.

Of the 57 cases other than stone pelting, 32 were allegedly involved in theft, 08 in rape, 06 in assault and 05 in murder.

"The involvement of adolescents from villages is more in cases of rape and murder," the officer said adding that 'the repetition among these cases is rampant'.

Short of proper accommodation for minors involved in juvenile delinquency, police would often lodge stone pelting youth in adult jails creating uproar not only in the state but outside.

Juveniles accused of other crimes were no different.

It was only after social welfare department took the initiative to construct the three story house at the cost of Rs 5 crore in the highly serene environs of Harwan housing many Mughal gardens.

The white washed building, nestled among lush green mountains, is highly fortified and fenced by mesh and concertina wires.

It has 18 rooms for minors and every door and window is made of iron. The ground floor houses the office of the superintendent, a dining hall, recreation hall and a kitchen.

The management of the facility was recently in news after a 12-year-old boy accused them of denying food besides being forced to clean toilets.