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Home haven for teenaged criminals

Commit crime, go scot-free.

That seemed to be the mantra of teenaged offenders who have made several juvenile homes a haven for even keeping their arms. They commit crime at night and enjoy a good night’s sleep there during the day.

The startling fact came to the fore during a search at a Chhapra-based remand home by a joint team of the police and the district administration officials on Sunday. The team recovered a laptop, a cellphone and other items snatched from the passengers of Hajipur-Thawe Passenger near Daudnagar railway station in Saran district on February 18.

During interrogation, Mohan and Sarvesh (name changed) confessed to their crime and revealed that a group of seven inmates attacked the passenger train around 11pm on February 18 and robbed the travellers of their belongings. They returned to the juvenile home after two-and-a-half hours and shared the booty.

Additional district magistrate Quayom Ansari, who was heading the operation, said the looted articles, including laptop and cellphone, were found during the search of the juvenile home, which houses minors charged with committing criminal offences. “I was taken aback after finding bottles of liquor and holster of a revolver,” he said.

Ansari said he would report to the district magistrate about the nexus between the inmates and officials of the juvenile home. “How the inmates of the juvenile home were allowed to go outside and that too at night?” he said, hinting at the involvement of the juvenile home employees, including security guards.

Mishra, however, parried questions on the punitive action taken against the superintendents.

Social welfare department deputy director Amar Nath Mishra said: “We are trying to procure reports from the district magistrates concerned from where lapses have been found. We will analyse the findings of the reports and thereafter initiate corrective measures.”

The seizure of holster from a room showed that the inmates were in possession of illegal firearms. The raiding team, however, did not recover any weapon, Ansari said, adding that he would submit a detailed report recommending stern action against the superintendent Sayta Narayan Choudhary and others for lapses on their part.

Sonepur sub-divisional police officer Rajendra Ram, who was also part of the raiding team, said: “The inmates of juvenile homes go outside at their sweet will, any time and anywhere. Even adults were allowed to stay in the juvenile homes,” he added.

He said fresh cases of robbery would be lodged against them after the recovery of the looted articles from their possession.

A month ago, a Motihari police team also found the involvement of some juveniles of the Bettiah home in a dacoity case reported from the Patanwa police station area in East Champaran. “These inmates were involved in like murder, dacoity and theft of vehicles,” East Champaran superintendent of police Vinay Kumar said.

Items found during raid:

Laptop
Cellphone
Liquor bottles
Revolver holster


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