The two 17-year-olds arrested for gang-rapes at Shakti Mill are learning tailoring in the Umerkhadi Observation Home, better known as the Dongri’s children’s home, where they have been lodged since their arrest.
The duo has been kept along with around seven other minors who have also been arrested for grave offences.
An official from the home said, “The juveniles are given an option of the course they want to take during school hours. The duo chose tailoring and is being given lessons in that.”
“The two accused have been kept with around seven juveniles who have been involved in grave offences like rape and murder, including the pizza delivery boy who had raped a woman at Worli a month ago,” he said.
“Children who have committed graver offences can impact other younger juveniles involved in lesser crimes in a negative way, and also bully them. Hence, they are isolated from the latter,” the official said, adding that the two do not seem to exhibit any guilt.
“They have maintained that they have been framed in the case,” he said.
Surprisingly, family members of both the juveniles have not moved a bail application before the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), a quasi-judicial body that adjudicates in matters of juveniles in conflict with the law.
“Parents approach us for bail in most cases. Getting it is easier for juveniles as the JJB takes into consideration that they have a future ahead.
In cases when the juvenile is a student, they get bail on most occasions,” the official said.
He added, “Their parents have not applied for bail, which is unusual. In fact, no one from the family of the juvenile allegedly involved in the photojournalist’s gang-rape case has come to meet him.”
The official said they are hopeful the JJB trial would be over in a matter of months.