'Handover detained boy to juvenile justice panel'

Day after the police claimed that the suspect in the Jammu grenade attack case—detained from the winter capital yesterday—is a juvenile, a juvenile justice panel Friday demanded custody of the boy.

Justice Hasnain Masoodi, chairperson of the selection-cum-oversight committee (SCOC), the apex body for monitoring and evaluation of the Juvenile Justice Act, said, “The juvenile should be handed over to the Juvenile Justice Board Jammu at the earliest.”

“Disclosing identity of the juvenile is against the Juvenile Justice Act and the juvenile justice board concerned should take cognisance of the matter,” he told Greater Kashmir.

On Thursday, a grenade was hurled at Jammu bus stand in which two persons were killed and 31 others injured.

According to IGP Jammu, who held a press conference after claiming to have cracked the case, said, “Based on the oral testimony of the witnesses and the CCTV footages, the police were able to identify a suspect who was wearing a jeans jacket and carrying a red rucksack.”

The police also named the minor.

According to the Juvenile Justice Act, “As soon as a juvenile in conflict with law is apprehended by the police, he shall be placed under the charge of the special juvenile police unit or the designated police officer who shall produce the juvenile before the board without any loss of time, but within a period of 24 hours of his apprehension, excluding the time necessary for the journey, from the place where the juvenile was apprehended, to the board.”

The Act further says, “Provided that in no case, a juvenile in conflict with law shall be placed in a police lock-up or lodged in a jail.”

As far as disclosing the identity of the juvenile is concerned, the Act says: “No report in any newspaper, magazine, newssheet or visual media of any inquiry regarding a juvenile in conflict with law or a child in need of care and protection under the Act shall the name, address or school or any other particulars calculated to lead to the identification of the juvenile or child nor shall any picture of any such juvenile or child be published.”

The child right activists have also registered their protests against the violation of the juvenile justice Act.

Nodal officer for Juvenile Justice Board Jammu and Kashmir Khair-un-Nisa, said, “The Juvenile Justice Board Kulgam investigated the matter and have got certificate from the minor’s school that says that he was born in 2006.”

However, IGP Jammu Manish Kumar, said, “As of now we haven’t given the custody of the juvenile to the Juvenile Justice Board Jammu because we are ascertaining whether he is a minor or not. We have asked for his records from Kulgam.”

Shafaq Shah