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Updated: February 9, 2012 09:31 IST

No correctional service in place

Mohit M. Rao
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Burnt mattress lying outside the Government Observation Home in Madiwala after a failed attempt to escape by four inmates on Tuesday. Photo: Mohit Rao
The Hindu
Burnt mattress lying outside the Government Observation Home in Madiwala after a failed attempt to escape by four inmates on Tuesday. Photo: Mohit Rao

The youngsters should be guided to channel their energies into non-destructive pursuits

The root cause of the agitation by inmates of the Government Observation Home in Madiwala on Wednesday is the lack of any correctional services or specialised care for the children, said the team from the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights(KSCPCR), who visited the spot.

“There is no correctional service at the centre. The children have come from marginalised homes and require specialised care, which is not provided in the Observation Home,” said the team member who requested anonymity.

The source added that some children were of “deviant behaviour”, youngsters who needed their energies to be channelled into non-destructive pursuits such as sports and creative activities.

‘Above 18 years of age'

KSCPCR, in its preliminary investigation, said the four juvenile offenders, who started the aggression around 11.30 p.m., were aged between 20 and 22, well above the maximum age of the 18 mandated by law to be lodged at the home. “They had committed a crime when they were minors. However, they were recalled for the hearings of fresh crimes. It is surprising how they were lodged the home in the first place.”

While it was these four who allegedly began the escape attempt, it was through “gang mentality” that the other younger children, some as young as 13, joined in the destruction of property, said the source.

Incidentally, The Hindu, last in its Public Eye page on Tuesday, had written about the state of affairs in this home and called for remedial action.

According to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Karnataka rules 2010, the Observation Home should have age-based separate residential facilities for children. However, in the Madiwala home, all are bunched together in the same complex.

KSCPCR went on a surprise inspection on January 9, and the report was forwarded to the Department of Woman and Child Development last week, said a member. “In that we had asked them to bolster security, hire more guards, wardens and matron.

Only three guards

However, according to staff at the Observation Home, though the records mention 12 guards there, only three have been employed. “Some officials of the home and DWCD have been pocketing the money by creating bogus security guards,” alleged a staff member who requested anonymity.

Meanwhile, the KSCPCR has transferred the investigation to the State Human Rights Commission.


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