Rashi Aditi Ghosh/ZRG
In a disturbing trend which doesn’t augur well for our society, juvenile crimes are steadily rising in India. According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Report 2012, crimes involving children have increased from 0.8 per cent in 2001 to 11.8 per cent in 2011.
NCRB data on juvenile delinquency shows that children apprehended under both Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Special & Local Laws (SLL) has increased from 30,303 in 2010 to 33,887 in 2011.
While the number of children in the apprehended category is rising, their overall involvement in juvenile crimes has also increased by 10.5 per cent under IPC and 10.9 per cent under SLL in 2011.
NCRB data also points that a majority of juveniles are mostly involved in theft, hurting, burglary and riots.
While showing her deep concern over increasing rate of crimes by children Anjali Pawar, director at Sakhi, a child centric NGO, blames television. She opines, “Children see a lot of crime shows on television which leads them to curiosity and they end up experimenting the situations in reality as they are innocent enough to understand the hazardous results.”
Taking a different perspective Anant Asthana, child rights lawyer at New Delhi says, “I disagree that crime committed by children is increasing as I straight away connect it with the increasing population.”
Surprisingly, in addition to other crime heads, kidnapping and abduction (Section 363-369, 371-373 IPC) committed by juveniles have also registered a noticeable increase from 2008 to 2011. While kidnapping and abduction (Section 363-369, 371-373 IPC) committed by juvenile was recorded at 354 in 2008, it inflated to 823 during 2011.
Citing the adverse effects of peer pressure, lavish lifestyles, too much freedom from the parents as major factors, Asthana from New Delhi adds: “Social mal adjustment and family disintegration is on the rise which brings children into a state of abandonment and disorientation and they make their way out by indulging into criminal activities.”
Another worrying trend that the NCRB data reflects is the growing numbers of girl child in crimes. From 5.1 per cent in 2010, it has climbed to 5.8 per cent in 2011.