Juvenile justice panel asks Govt to let off Awantipora boy

Asks why police sent him 400 kilometres away from his home

Shafaq Shah
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jan 11 2019 12:31AM | Updated Date: Jan 11 2019 12:31AM
Juvenile justice panel asks Govt to let off Awantipora boyRepresentational pic

An apex panel for juvenile justice Thursday questioned the government for illegally arresting a boy from Awantipora and asked why the police sent him 400 kilometers away from his home for questioning in a militancy-related case. 

A day after the boy was sent to Lakhanpur in Kathua district, Justice (retired) Hasnain Masoodi asked the government to issue “appropriate directions” to all ranks for obeying the Juvenile Justice Act in “letter and spirit”.

Masoodi is the chairperson selection-cum-oversight committee (SCOC), an apex body for monitoring and evaluation of juvenile justice.

“Despite knowing that the boy is a juvenile, why did the police sent him to Lakhanpur police station, 400 kilometers away from his residence?” Masoodi wrote in a letter to principal secretary, home, and additional director general of the Jammu and Kashmir police.

Masoodi, who has four times written to the government to desist from detaining juveniles in police stations, asked the government to ensure that the juvenile is let off.

Also, the principal magistrate Juvenile Justice Board Kathua has been asked to look into the matter and ensure that the mandate of the Act and rules are not violated.

On Saturday, the police went to the boy’s house and on not finding him there ordered his parents to bring him to a police station in Awantipora.

After assuring the family that the boy would be sent home soon, the police detained him on Sunday and instead sent him to Kathua for questioning in a case of alleged supply of arms to militants.

This is not the first time a juvenile has been detained by the police.

Days earlier, a juvenile from southern Tral township was detained by the police but he was later sent to a juvenile home after this newspaper reported the story.

In December, six boys from Batamaloo area were detained by the police, but they were released following an intervention by the Juvenile Justice Board of Srinagar.

On October 29, a class 12 student from Shopian was picked by personnel of police station Imam Saheb allegedly in place of his brother and detained for two days, preventing the18-year-old from writing his board examinations.

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