The police say they will rehabilitate a 16-year-old girl arrested for the murder of a 60-year-old LIC agent on Thursday, with the help of expert help from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
Reshma (name changed), a teenager from a rundown locality of Rawalpada in Dahisar (east), and her friend, Dinesh Chaturvedi (36), an autorickshaw driver, allegedly killed Ratnakar Kondalkar after a tiff on March 5.
Chaturvedi, who reportedly smashed Kondalkar’s head with a stone, is absconding.
“Once the judicial process is over, we have planned to rehabilitate Reshma with the help of TISS,” said Senior Police Inspector Milind Khetle.
Crime Branch officials attribute the crime to her “addiction to alcohol” and the circumstances under which she was brought up.
“Ostensibly, it seems to be a case of abandonment that led to the crime,” said Vijay Raghavan, assistant professor with the Centre for Criminology and Justice at TISS. “But we will have to go through the legal process were the juvenile justice board will decide on the term for Reshma to be kept under custody of an observation home.”
The juvenile justice board will decide whether she is to be handed back to her family or needs further help. “If the family approaches us, we will be ready to help her out,” said Raghavan.
“The first step to help her out would be to ascertain if she is addicted to alcohol or not. Then the level of addiction has to be ascertained, based on which she will have to either undergo a detoxification or rehabilitation programme.”
On March 5, Reshma and Chaturvedi beat Kondalkar with bamboo sticks. When Kondalkar lost consciousness, Chaturvedi allegedly hurled a stone on his head that killed him. Kondalkar had bought them liquor, and allegedly tried to get intimate with Reshma. “The girl was left to fend for herself after her father passed away and her mother remarried,” said Khetle.