The 16-year-old Muslim boy, who was thrown in with hardened criminals in the Kapurthala jail, could have been alive today had his family managed to furnish bail bonds in the court. The boy died in the jail on May 27.
The court of additional district and sessions judge Lalit Kumar Singla had granted bail to the boy on May 21, a day after his arrest. But the poor and illiterate family failed to furnish bail bonds.
The boy's mother, Noor Jahan, is a heart patient and the family is even finding it difficult to arrange money for her treatment. The victim's elder brother, Fard Hussain, 22, said their father left them seven years ago and their mother was running a tea stall to make ends meet. Hussain said his minor brother was learning hair dressing skills and was earning `300 per month. "I have to take care of two sisters and a brother. Besides, my wife is pregnant. I don't have resources to even feed my family properly," said Hussain.
According to information, the Kapurthala police arrested the boy again on May 20 after he had jumped bail. The next day, the court granted him bail and asked the family to furnish bail bonds of `50,000 with a surety in the like amount with an undertaking that he should not leave the country without prior permission of the court and will appear in the court on each and every date of hearing.
The boy's mother said if they had arranged the money, he would have been alive today. "I want justice for my son and stern action against the policemen who lodged my son with hardened criminals," she said.
The family members of the victim on Monday met inspector general of police, Jalandhar range, Lok Nath Angra and demanded action against the erring cops. Senior superintendent of police (SSP), Kapurthala, Ashish Chaudhary said: "We arrested boy on the court's orders and next day, he was granted bail, but the family failed to furnish surety bonds."
The death of the minor boy on May 27, attributed to mysterious reasons, has brought the Kapurthala police under the scanner for hiding his age and, most serious of all, sending a minor to the jail. The fear of action has driven them to build pressure on the boy's family for settlement, but the family wants justice.
Under the Juvenile Justice Act, minors in custody can be kept only at observation home and not in a jail meant for adults. HT has a copy of the boy's Aadhar card, which shows that he was born in 1998; so by that, his age must 16 years and two months when the Kapurthala Sadar police arrested him first on May 28, 2014.