Sib Kumar Das

BERHAMPUR: A 17-year-old boy of Baipariguda in Koraput district never knew that theft of Rs. 600 could rob over three years of his teenage.

He isan undertrial inmate at the Berhampur juvenile home. Recently he was brought to the eye hospital at MKCG medical college campus under police security for an operation of his left eye. And his plight as an undertrial prisoner also saw light. He described how he was longing to return home.

He hails from a family of menial labourers. He along with a friend had stolen around Rs. 600 from a shop. They were arrested by police and produced before the Juvenile Justice Board, Jeypore. Ironically, his accomplice was granted bail within three days of arrest. But the boy was sent to Berhampur Juvenile home, where he has been an under-trial resident since Aug 18, 2004.

The head guard of the juvenile home, Bijay Kumar Sahu also accepts that much delay has occurred in the legal process related to the small crime committed by the boy. According to him within these three years the boy has been produced before Jeypore Juvenile Justice Board thrice.

But for some unknown reasons the boy has not been able to get bail. He was 14 years when brought here.