Special homes to be built in state for the young accused of heinous crimes
The state government identified four eight-acre plots, one each in Gurugram, Ambala, Hisar and Sonipat, last year where the construction is likely to begin by June-end, said officials.Updated: May 08, 2019, 01:59 IST
The women and child development (WCD) ministry has approved the setting up of four places of safety — special homes for young men aged 18 to 21 years who are accused of heinous crimes — across the state. Officials said presently there is only one such home in Madhuban, Karnal, where young men under the age of 21 are kept before their conviction.
The state government identified four eight-acre plots, one each in Gurugram, Ambala, Hisar and Sonipat, last year where the construction is likely to begin by June-end, said officials.
Sunaina Khatri, district programme officer, women and child development department, said that in Gurugram district, the government has sanctioned an integrated complex, including a Place of Safety, to be built in Kadarpur, some 15 kilometres from the city near Bhondsi. “We received the approval for construction of an integrated complex, consisting of an observation home, a special home, children home and a Place of Safety, from the chief secretary of Haryana on March 13,” she said.
Presently, the nearest observation home for the district is in Faridabad, where juveniles apprehended for committing crimes are kept.
“Gurugram records the highest number of cases involving juveniles in the state. Therefore, it involves a huge amount of expenses to transport juveniles and teenagers to Vikas Sadan to be presented before the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) in Gurugram. It also takes nearly two hours to travel from Faridabad to Vikas Sadan,” she said.
Presently, all juvenile offenders are kept in observation homes, irrespective of the severity of their crime. They can be confined for a maximum of three years. Those between the age group of 16 and 18 can be tried as adults, after following a due process involving the JJB, only in cases of ‘heinous crimes’ as per a 2015 law.
Dinesh Yadav, superintendent of the Faridabad observation home, said that currently 25 juveniles from Gurugram district are lodged there.
“The facilities at a Place of Safety aren’t much different from those in an observation home. It’s just a change in nomenclature. The supervision, however, is stricter as compared to the observation home and most of the inmates are involved in serious crimes, such as rape and murder. The initiative is to provide an environment where such young offenders can be reformed,” said Khatri.
The officials also said that once a child is shifted to a Place of Safety, the staff works on the child‘s development, education as well as social behaviour. “A regular assessment of the child is carried out during long term care and rehabilitation,” said a member of the Juvenile Justice Board.