Delhi

Gangs lure minors into crime with glitzy lifestyle

Seventeen-year-old Vikas (name changed) is from a well-to-do family. A school dropout, he became famous among his friends in the locality after he started keeping an expensive mobile phone and pistol, wearing branded clothes and often throwing parties for his friends at a restaurant where the owner saluted him and never asked for money. Recently, when he was apprehended for his involvement in the murder of a property dealer in West Delhi’s Vikaspuri, the police recovered a stolen car and three pistols from his possession.

Like Vikas, the Delhi police had apprehended 905 juveniles till May 31 for their involvement in various criminal activities.

“Juveniles usually start with petty crimes and with time they join big gangs to get social identity and power in the locality. Gang leaders provide them with guns, cars [stolen ones] and money before they are given tasks to execute heinous crimes like murders, kidnapping and extortion,” said a police officer.

Drugs and liquor

The officer said that before assigning them ‘big tasks’, these juveniles are nurtured by the gang members. They take them to nightclubs in expensive cars and provide them with drugs and liquor. Gangs lure them into the world of crime by showcasing flamboyant lifestyle, he added.

“Criminal gangs nurture juveniles in the age group of 16-17 and use them to execute crimes as they face lenient punishment under the Juvenile Justice Act. In 2018, 2,980 juveniles were apprehended by the police for various criminal offences. But we tried to ensure that juveniles involved in heinous crimes like rape, murder, kidnapping etc. are to be treated as majors during the trial and get maximum punishment,” said the officer.

Joint CP (Southern Range) Devesh Chandra Srivastava said that around 1,500 juveniles are getting training at skill centres operating in 22 police stations across the city. “We organise sports activities, street plays and gender sensitisation programmes in schools and JJ colonies across the city to channelise juveniles and keep them away from antisocial activities,” said Mr. Srivastava.

Mr. Srivastava added that they reform juveniles involved in petty crimes by getting them trained in skill development so that they can be part of the society’s mainstream.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 6:07:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/gangs-lure-minors-into-crime-with-glitzy-lifestyle/article28090550.ece

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