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Juveniles segregated in homes after ruckus, High Court told

Posted on Feb 05 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 5 : The city government Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that it has segregated juveniles lodged in observation homes on the basis of age, habits and nature of offences and behavioural pattern after four incidents of rioting took place last year.

Filing an affidavit before a division bench of Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, the women and child development department said it has decided that police personnel will be present with juveniles at the time of meeting people to check any exchange of drugs and other substances.

Department director Rajeev Kale said in an affidavit that it has taken steps for "segregation of juveniles on the basis of their age, habits of indulging into and nature of offences, behavioural pattern - aggressive expressions and gang association/ influence of adult perpetrators".

A welfare officer will accompany the juveniles while they are being transported to hospitals to keep check that no prohibited articles are given to them either by police or through any other means, the department said.

The government's response came in a case where the high court took a suo moto cognizance of an incident when juveniles went on a rampage and the government failed to control rioting by the juveniles.

Between August-December 2013, there were four incidents of rioting, fires and escapes at observation homes for juveniles, run by the women and child development department.

The department also said that in a meeting held with the Lt. Governor a need was felt to develop protocol or procedure for handling such emergency situations.

"This would include procedure for police, fire brigade, staff, security etc. The department has initiated the process of developing standard operating procedure for institutions housing juveniles in conflict with law," the affidavit said.

It also said the department has constituted a commission to carry out an inquiry into incidents of arson, vandalism, loot, destruction of government property, and escape of some juveniles from their home.

Of the 33 juveniles who escaped, 23 have been apprehended by police till date.

As per news reports, on Dec 16, a group of minors created a ruckus and escaped from an observation home in Kingsway Camp area after eight hours of rioting, vandalism and arson.

They snapped the power supply to the centre and some climbed up the terrace and escaped by jumping over the boundary wall.

The report said they set fire to a hall, bashed up the staff with iron rods and attacked them with knives. Most of the staff, fearing for their lives, fled the home and police had to be called in.

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