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Delhi Crime – a growing imprint of juvenile delinquency

New Delhi: A 3-yearold girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by a juvenile in northeast Delhi’s Welcome area on September 9. The 14-year-old boy, known to the victim, took her to a vacant plot and abused her. On September 7, a 17-year-old boy was apprehended for allegedly killing his alcoholic father with a rolling pin in Delhi’s Sarai Rohilla area. On September 2, a 17-year-old domestic help was arrested for killing a differentlyabled youth in South Delhi’s Safdarjung area. The differently-abled had seen him stealing something and had raised an alarm when the delinquent servant killed him. In August this year, a 20-year-old man died after being allegedly stabbed by a juvenile in east Delhi’s Jwala Nagar. Four juveniles were apprehended in the incident.

Every year around 2,500 crimes involving juveniles are reported in Delhi, which makes it the city with the highest reported number of such crimes. Cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Ahmedabad trail Delhi by a huge margin. Almost half the cases the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) disposed of between April 2021 and May 2022 were related to juvenile justice.

Among Delhi’s many banes highlighted by its long traffic jams, high pollution levels, incorrigible rapes and road rage incidents, juvenile delinquency is one which doesn’t get much coverage-- perhaps because its seriousness is still not gauged with the alacrity and diligence it deserves. Despite a wider ambit of education put in place by the Kejriwal government to induct more and more children into the school education system, majority of the juvenile delinquents arrested in last 3 years are found to have studied not beyond matriculation and the rest are only class 6 or class 8 pass. Over 20 per cent of them are homeless. Over 90 per cent of juveniles apprehended in last four years are firsttime offenders, indicating that every year thousands of new youngsters are joining the nefarious clan.

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