Handle juvenile crime with utmost care
POLICE were recently directed by a Supreme Court judge to set children free or grant bail in consultation with probation officers without sending them to the juvenile courts if they are arrested for petty crimes as the Children Act 2013 requires. If these children are sent to courts, instead of the probation officers, the courts could take action against the police for not following the law. As the children are most vulnerable for their age, law enforcers should deal with them carefully as they could return to normal social life.
The juvenile courts would direct the Superintendent of Police to take action against child affairs police officers for their negligence while Department of Social services' Director for institution to take action against the responsible probation officers for their failure to follow the law. Since courts are not good places, it would be better to set arrested children free in consultation with the probation officers after cautioning them or their parents or taking undertakings from them for the betterment of the children. Beside male officer, female officer must be assigned to deal with female children stipulated the law but most of the children affairs police officers are still males.
At least 968 children were killed in last 43 months on the allegation that they had committed petty crimes. Children also become victims of lynching and illegal beatings by their teachers and parents. Police said they have bitter experience of politically influential people attacking police stations if children arrested for petty offences were set free.
As the juvenile crimes are growing day by day with gang culture in many neighbourhoods in Metro areas, the responsibility of police and juvenile courts increased manifolds. The family, social, religious and cultural institutions should come up with the state to correct the misguided youths and solve the causes why the youths turn errant. It is our earnest urge to all the stake-holders to follow slow and steady path while working on juvenile corrections.