New Delhi: Even as India debates whether the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act are enough to deal with crimes of serious nature, the juvenile accused of taking part in the brutal gang-rape of the 23-year-old girl, is reportedly being kept in solitary confinement.
An international news agency reported on Wednesday that the 17-year-old boy has been isolated from other inmates at the detention facility for his own safety.
Quoting officials at the facility, the report claimed that other inmates, some of whom have been convicted of murder, are angry over the brutality of the attack on the girl.
Officials fear that the accused may be harmed by others. "They watch the television in the dormitories and get very angry when they see news of the rape," the report said quoting officials.
The officers said the youth has proclaimed his innocence and blamed his co-accused. "He says he has done nothing, the others have committed this crime," one of the officers said.
The youth does not take part in the daily exercise and education routine of other detainees and there is no television in his room and as he is barely literate so he does not read, the report claimed.
The youth is to be tried separately from his five adult co-accused. Their trial began yesterday. A Juvenile Justice will hear his case on February 14.
If found guilty, he will face a maximum of three years in juvenile detention, while the other five accused – their trial started yesterday – face death penalty if convicted.
While reports have claimed that the juvenile was the most brutal, the Chief Justice of India (CJI), Altamas Kabir warned the media against branding him as the most brutal.
"Branding the juvenile as the most violent is but a creation of media as of now. At this stage, we don`t know who did what in the brutal gang-rape of the student, but everything will become clear soon. Till then, we all should wait," said the CJI said.
Justice Kabir reiterated that he too wanted to protest against Delhi gang-rape but could not and that the gruesome gang-rape of the girl has awakened the country from deep slumber.
Importantly, the Juvenile Justice Board has declared him a minor, even as the family of the braveheart are demanding that he be giving punishment at par with other accused.
The juvenile’s family in Badaun in western Uttar Pradesh was shocked to know that he is still alive. The accused had left home five years ago and had been untraceable since then. His family now says he should be punished if found guilty.
His mother said, “If he is found guilty, then he should be punished. Or else, he should return home.”