The number of juvenile accused in murder cases reported in January has caught the attention of the Pune police authorities. Of the 12 murder cases reported, minors were directly involved in at least five cases.“Of all the people arrested in the 12 murder cases, 10 are minors. The involvement of minors in these cases is, however, a cause of concern. We have started taking steps in the direction of reducing this number,” said Shirish Sardeshpande, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), crime in Pune.He said that K Venkatesham, police commissioner, raised the issue of involvement of minors in murder cases during the Tuesday review meeting.The Pune police have launched a public outreach initiative called the ‘Bharosa cell’ which has a wing dedicated to children in conflict with law. The observation home in Yerawada is also dedicated to prevention of its inmates’ return to the world of crime, which are all steps in the direction to reduce the number of minors involved in crime.“Of the 12 murders (reported since January 7), only two accused have a criminal record. Rest of the murders were committed due to personal reasons and therefore, the police could not have pre-empted them. Almost all accused have been arrested in these murder cases,” said DCP Sardeshpande.These 12 murders in the city were committed in the first 30 days of January with the latest being that of a 21-year-old youth hacked to death in Karvenagar.Shivaji Bodhke, joint commissioner (law and order), said that the back-to-back murders in January did not impact the citizens as those murders were committed by the persons known to the victims.“The general public has not been affected as there has been no destruction to public property. These murders have not happened in front of public eyes,” he said.Bodhke said that the city police have begun counselling parents of juvenile delinquents. “ We have asked the beat officials and detection branch officials to keep a check on criminals. All steps have been taken to maintain strict vigil on the criminal and anti-social elements,” he said.A minor was apprehended on Tuesday for the murder of a 21-year-old man in Dahanukar colony in Karvenagar area on Monday night. “The boy was arrested on Tuesday afternoon. He was apprehensive of the victim’s interest in his sister,” said DCP Sardeshpande. The deceased was identified as Siddhappa Pirappa Kalbandi , a resident of Dahanukar colony in Kothrud. The boy was presented in the Juvenile Justice board (JJB) in Yerawada. A case under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code was registered against the minor at Alankar police station.