As many as 42 juveniles have fled the Dongri remand home located in the city in the last three years, while only 16 of them could be traced, Maharashtra government has informed the Legislative Council.
As many as 42 juveniles have fled the Dongri remand home located in the city in the last three years, while only 16 of them could be traced, Maharashtra government has informed the Legislative Council. In a written response to a question by Pravin Darekar (BJP), state Women and Child Development minister Pankaja Munde said that from 2014-15 to 2016-17, 42 children had fled the Dongri remand home. Out of those, 16 were traced and brought back and one security official was suspended. She added that the Childrens’ Aid Society, Mahim, Mumbai had sought a clarification about these incidents from the concerned security guards.
“The remand home houses juveniles in conflict with the law and those in need of care and protection. The final decision on these children takes time as legal procedures are involved. In between (the legal procedures), these children try to flee the remand home,” she stated. Munde added that the state government has instructed the remand home to counsel the juveniles, enhance its security and ensure proper health and food facilities to these children and maintain cleanliness of the place. Responding to the government’s admission, social activist Shadaab Patel said the figures point to the lack of security and supervision at the remand home. “It is a matter of grave concern because we do not know which crime they have been involved. There might be serious offences they might have indulged and there is a strong possibility of them repeating the offence again if they are not properly rehabilitated and counselled,” he said.
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“Along with enhancing the security, the government should consider using advanced technologies like in developed nations, where, if these children try to flee, the police get automatically notified and they can be tracked through chip enabled clamps,” he added. Patel added that rehab centres are unhygienic so children do not feel like staying there. “Instead of making these remand homes look like a horror house, the government can start imparting education, vocational courses there,” Patel said.