BANGALORE: Eighteen juveniles escaped around 12.30 am on Sunday by sliding down a water pipe at the Juvenile Home on Hosur Road in Wilson Garden police station limits. The security guards were asleep at the time.
The children stacked some chairs, climbed on to the roof and slid down the water pipe about 15 feet before jumping down the compound wall. They were careful while negotiating the barbed wire fencing.
The remand home staff discovered the great escape when they carried out a head-count on Sunday morning. Lakshmi Narasimhaiah, Superintendent of the Home, then informed the Wilson Garden police. All escapees are aged between 14 and 17.
Police said the escaped children were beggars and child labourers who were brought to the Home for rehabilitation. KG Halli police handed over 10 children working in a factory in August while BOSCO had sent eight three months ago after they were found begging at railway stations and bus stops. Of the 18 children, nine hail from Nepal and the others are from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The escape of the juveniles has exposed the glaring loopholes in the security system at the Home, run by the state government’s Department for Women and Child Welfare, said an activist.
A senior police officer told Express that preliminary investigation revealed that lack of security and harassment by the staff led to the escape. The Home is overcrowded. Sixty children are put into a room which can accommodate only 30.
The police officer said that the railway stations and bus stands in and around the city were kept on high alert.
CWC Not Informed
When contacted, Anitha Shivakumar, chairperson, Chid Welfare Committee, said, “The superintendent didn’t inform me about the incident and it shows their irresponsibility.
There are totally 260 boys who don’t have proper rooms to sleep. The government did not provide even basic facilities. Lack of staff and security measures including CCTV camera enabled the children to escape.