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5 juveniles make off from Dongri Children's Home

Monday, February 19, 2018
By Zuber Ansari and Dev Kotak

Use ladder to escape and scale the wall

The Dongri Children's Home is in the news yet again after five juveniles lodged there took off from the home. The remand home that also doubles up as a child correction centre is facing the heat after the minors ran away, taking advantage of the ongoing repair work being carried out in the jail premises.

There was some renovation work being done in the children's rooms even as  a building was being constructed under the auspices of the Public Works Department (PWD). A ladder that was in use by the workers was used by the children to escape  successfully.

While other labourers were busy with the work, the juveniles saw this as an opportunity even as the officials were distracted. Taking advantage of the ladder lying near the wall, the inmates climbed it, scaled the wall and ran away.

At the time of the incident, they were wearing the uniform (dress for children's home) and the media has also been asked to provide information of their whereabouts (if any) to Dongri Police Station.

However this is not the first instance of children escaping from the correction center based in Umerkhadi's South Mumbai area which has faced flak for not being able to provide even the most basic facilities to these juvenile offenders.

Senior Police Inspector (SPI) Sandeep Bhagadkar from Dongri police station said, ''Of the five kids that ran away from the Dongri children's home, one is a resident of Mumbai and the rest hail from other parts of country. None of them have a criminal background. They were brought to the correction center by an city based NGO for care and protection.

“The home has sent us an application requesting for help to find the missing minors. We have already set up teams that are tracing these children and also looking in places where we could potentially find them. We will also go to their villages and check if they have gone back home. We don't have any idea of their families yet. They have been staying at the home for the past two three months"

Sources from the Dongri police station revealed that, a departmental inquiry by the Dongri Children's Home would be set up to ascertain the cause of such a big security lapse that allowed the five juveniles to escape. All the children are in the age bracket between 12 to 16 years, and  officials are worried about these children falling in the wrong hands.

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