Apna Ghar inquiry recommends criminal action against staff

PTI, PANAJI | 23 April 2012 23:43 IST

An inquiry into the frequent escapes from the government-controlled shelter home for minors have recommended criminal action against the staff, who allegedly facilitate these custody-breaks.

Lavinson Martins, a senior state government officer, has submitted the report to the Women and Child Welfare Ministry last week.

The report has investigated how the children were being smuggled out of the custody and let loose.

The children, as per the police investigations, were picked up by a local gangster from Apna Ghar, a government-run shelter home for children in conflict with law and children, who need care and protection, who used to use them for grievous offences like robbery and even murder.

"In the recommendatory part of the report, it is suggested that criminal or/and departmental action should be taken against the staffers, who were responsible for the escapes," a senior ministry official said revealing about the 65-page-long report.

During the inquiry, Martins took deposition of 43 people including two judges who headed Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB) in each district, entire staff, Child Welfare Committee members, NGOs, former members of CWC, caretakers of the children, superintendents, security guards and night watchmen.

The investigation was focused around last four escapes, right from December 2011.

As per the terms of reference for the inquiry, the role of the NGOs interacting with the children was also looked into in the probe.

The shelter home, located on the outskirts of Panaji city, has 80 inmates.

The facility hogged the bad news after police investigation revealed that the children from this home were indulging in criminal activity after their escapes.

A caretaker, a gangster and four children were arrested by police busting a racket that used to steal two-wheelers. One of the child was also allegedly involved into a murder case.

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