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Child units a must at police stations

mumbai Updated: Mar 25, 2013 03:25 IST
Preety Acharya
Preety Acharya
Hindustan Times
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Worried by the rising graph of crime against and by children, the state home department has issued a circular asking that special juvenile police units be set up at every police station in the state. These units will deal with cases specifically involving minors.

In the backdrop of findings that a growing number of minors are involved in various criminal offences, the Supreme Court had directed that a special officer be appointed at every police station to deal with such cases. States were asked for their response in cases of missing children.

The circular was issued on March 6, in which all police stations were asked to appoint a child welfare officer for the special units. These officers will work in coordination with the child welfare committee and will present the case involving the minor before the Juvenile Justice Board when required.

Senior police officers said the circular is, in a way, a reminder of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, which was amended in 2010. The main concern of the state is the protection of child rights.

The officers working with the Special Juvenile Protection Unit have been given specific instructions, such as a minor involved in a crime can't be interrogated in front of an adult. In cases where families of minors are involved in crime, the minor can't be booked under IPC.

"We have given instructions to all police stations in the city on how to deal with minors involved in crime. We have one officer and two staffers at every police station to look into such cases," said deputy commissioner of police, Satyanarayan Chowdhari, spokesperson for the Mumbai police.