THE TWO minor boys in conflict with law sent to a special home for their involvement in two separate incidents of gangrape in the Shakti Mills compound in 2013 have been released. While one of them was found involved in the rape of a 19-year-old former telephone operator on July 31, 2013, the other was convicted for the rape of a 23-year-old photojournalist on August 22, 2013.
The Juvenile Justice Board (Mumbai city) had in July 2014 ordered that both minors to be sent to the Nashik Borstal School for a period of three years, the maximum period permissible under the then Juvenile Justice Act, 2000. The boys, both adults now, were released in July this year. Officials at the Borstal School said both had made progress in terms of vocational skills and education and were keen to turn over a new leaf.
“For technical education of the inmates, there are institutions which conduct certificate courses. The two boys, like others, completed many courses. They completed courses on two-wheeler mechanic, air-condition and refrigerator repairs and an electrical wireman course,” said Shrikrishna Bhusare, the superintendent and principal of the school.
He added that one of the boys, who had dropped out of school, completed his Class X from a distance learning school. “The other could not read and write. He completed schooling till Class IV. Both have enrolled for further studies,” said Bhusare.
He said social workers working at the Borstal School as part of a pilot project had also been intervening in the cases of those being released from the school. “As part of the Juvenile Justice Act, past records of children in conflict with law cannot be maintained. It is also in violation of law if he or she is denied a job or any other opportunity is denied to them. Their current whereabouts cannot be shared,” said Bhusare.
Two separate incidents of gangrape had taken place inside the Shakti Mills compound in 2013. In March 2014, a special court in Mumbai had sentenced four men — Vijay Jadhav, Mohammed Qasim, Salim Ansari and Ashfaque Shaikh — to life imprisonment for raping the 19-year-old telephone operator in July 2013.
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In a subsequent judgment within a few days under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, the court ordered death sentence for Jadhav, Shaikh and Ansari for being repeat offenders as the three were found guilty of raping the 23-year-old photojournalist in August 2013. The court sentenced Siraj Rehman, the fourth convict in the August 2013 case, to life imprisonment. Their appeals are pending before the Bombay High Court.