The Telegraph
Thursday , February 2 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Babystep into drugs and crime
- Minors engage in theft and substance abuse

Patna, Feb. 1: Police today came across a theft that opened up the underbelly of crime and drug abuse among minors in the state capital.

A 12-year-old boy, Ravi, was caught while he was allegedly stealing electricity wires from a shop at Dariaganj under Pirbhore police station. The cops came to know from the boy that his plan was to sell the stolen wires and use the money to buy a pouch of smack that is available for only Rs 50 at Darzitola, located 100m from the police station.

The police might claim they don’t have a clue about it, but the irony is poor children like Ravi are well aware about the areas from where they can buy drugs. After stealing the electricity wires, Ravi tried to flee. He was, however, caught and beaten up by Bobby, who owns a shop selling marriage invitation cards, said eyewitnesses. He was then taken to the police station.

The cops, who are interrogating the boy, found out that Ravi, and at least eight of his friends in the same age group, carried out petty thefts in households and apartments to arrange money for smack, a cheap form of heroin. The police said Ravi used to buy the drugs from one Kaiser, a resident of Darzitola.

A source, however, said a case would be lodged against Bobby and his father, who “tortured” Ravi before handing him over to the police.

“During interrogation, the boy has given out a few details about his addiction to the police. But the fact that a 12-year-old was beaten up with sticks by Bobby and his father cannot be denied. The police will take action and a case will be lodged against the duo,” an officer at the Pirbhore police station said.

Another officer said: “Ravi’s father, Subhash Kumar, is an autorickshaw driver. They are residents of the Mahendru Ghat area. Ravi is a part of a nine-member gang, who split up into groups of three and carry out thefts. They steal anything, from electricity wires to unattended bicycles. Later, they sell the stolen goods and use the money to buy smack.”

Kaiser, who is allegedly into narcotics trade besides being a tailor, sells drugs to the boys, the police claimed.

“There are many things that have to be looked into before coming to any conclusion. If the boy is telling truth, it means that there is a group involved in petty thefts and buying and selling of drugs. The police need to find out the people who buy stolen goods from these children. The police are also on a look out for Kaiser. Investigations are on. The whereabouts of Ravi’s accomplices are also being ascertained,” the officer said.

Children’s involvement in crime is not new in the state capital. On January 9, five persons, including two minors, were arrested for their involvement in a theft at a medicine shop in Buddha Colony. The thieves were cutting through the asbestos roof of the shop when some people heard the noise and raised an alarm.

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