‘Majority cases pertain to petty thefts and vehicle-lifting’
A 17-year-old boy, who is brilliant in studies, landed in trouble due to his lure for easy money. His father is employed as a private security guard and his mother is a warden at a private college hostel. He sister completed B.Tech.
The innocent-looking boy seemed to be full of remorse as he attended the Juvenile Justice Board meeting, held to try juvenile cases, at the Government Observation Home for Boys at Seethammadhara recently.
His modus operandi is to wait at ATMs till a customer enters the PIN number and then tell him that the machine is not working, and direct him to another machine.
The unsuspecting customer believes him and proceeds to another machine, forgetting to cancel the ‘incomplete transaction’.
The boy then ‘completes’ the transaction and withdraws money from the customer’s account.
In another case, a 17-year-old hockey player was charged with stabbing a senior player during the New Year-eve celebrations at Kailasapuram this year.
The juvenile, who had a knife in his hand to cut the cake, tried to restrain his senior following an altercation and, in the process, the knife pierced through his chest, resulting in his death.
The boy was granted bail. But the case is still under trial.
“The Juvenile Justice Act provides for immediate release of delinquents. The objective is to reform them through counselling in a child-friendly atmosphere,” says Abdul Raqueeb, a member of the Juvenile Justice Board.
“The Observation Home caters to the needs of juvenile delinquents from the day they are apprehended till their release on bail. The home provides food and accommodation to delinquents from the three districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, and Visakhapatnam. A majority of the cases pertain to petty thefts and vehicle lifting,” says Superintendent of the Home (Full Additional Charge) G. Brahmam.
“Juveniles take to unlawful activities mainly due to family problems such as poverty, broken families, extra marital affairs among parents, peer group pressure, and lack of parental care. We provide free legal aid and legal counselling for juveniles in conflict and their parents,” says S.V. Rangamani, Legal-cum-Probation officer of the District Child Protection Unit.
Boys and girls should remember that a small mistake can ruin their career and make them repent it for the rest of their lives.
It would also cause immense mental agony to their parents and family members.