Hoshiarpur: Juvenile reform home needs some for itself

  • Harpreet Kaur, Hindustan Times, Hoshiarpur
  • Updated: Apr 08, 2015 20:32 IST

Bal Sudhar Ghar, a home for delinquent juveniles in Ram Colony Camp in the district, is surprisingly in need for its own reformation.

Although incidents of violence frequently rock this centre, the authorities concerned remain unmoved. In the most recent case, a gang war broke out on Tuesday, once again exposing the sorry state of affairs.

Two groups of inmates, most of whom are involved in heinous crimes such as murder and rape, badly injured each other in the clash. Though the security has been beefed up outside the campus after the incident, it is not going to be of much help unless the deficiencies inside the centre are removed.

There are 113 inmates in the home, which has a capacity of 50, and only two caretakers to manage the lot. The security personnel enter the home only in case of emergency. Moreover, all inmates, whether they are petty criminals or have committed serious offences, are lodged together.

There have been several incidents of jail breaks and clashes in the past but the local authorities seem helpless in view of inadequate staff and space.

As per law, criminals who attain the age of 18 should be shifted to regular jails but this never happens as at least 27 inmates lodged here are overage. The superintendent of the facility Naresh Kumar said that the list of adult inmates is regularly submitted to higher authorities. But the authorities seem to be least concerned.

The amended Juvenile Justice Act (JJA) stipulates that minors above the age of 16, who are accused of heinous crimes, will be now treated as adults.

Moreover, there is a provision in the JJA for counselling of the delinquents but the Bal Sudhar Grah has never seen a counselor either.

Though the members of the district Juvenile Justice Board regularly visit the centre and inspect its functioning there has been no tangible improvement. Ministers and activists also drop in frequently but their visits also go in vain.

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