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Increasing number of juveniles taking to crime in Gujarat
April 18, 2008 12:40 IST
Gujarat has witnessed a steady increase in cases of kidnapping and molestation by juveniles, with 472 such cases registered in 2007.
According to figures compiled by Gujarat police department's Crime Investigation Department and Railways branch, there were 107 cases of molestation and 365 cases of kidnapping by juveniles (below 16 years) in 2007 as against 90 and 341 in 2006. The corresponding figures for 2003 were 81 and 275.
"Overall, crime has become an occupation. Youngsters take extreme measures to make quick money. Economic prosperity, especially in the cities, is one of the major reasons for increase in offences registered against juveniles in the state," says Gaurang Jani, a sociologist.
In 2007, a total of 102 cases of rape, 52 murders, 422 accidental deaths and 83 suicide deaths were registered against juveniles in the state.
But in terms of total cases against juveniles, there has been a negligible decline from 1,378 in 2006 to 1,276 in 2007.
The pattern that has emerged, say experts, show how crime has been institutionalised in our society.
"Primarily these are cases of violence, only the forms of expression are different. For teenagers it's a form of channelising their aggression," said psychologist Hansal Bhachech.
He said the reason for rise in rape and molestation cases among teenagers has a lot to do with what they see around them.
"Kids are mainly influenced by their surroundings. Since our society has become more violent in nature, its effect is bound to be reflected on these teenagers. Moreover, there is a considerable impact of film and other media on youngsters," Bhachech said.
Jani said that exposure to sex at an early age through various sources and absence of formal sex education in schools brings early maturity in a child.
"Children these days have a new look towards sex. For them, television has become a reality. This sometimes manifests into criminal action," Jani added.
District-wise figures for 2006 reflect a similar trend, where more cases of kidnapping and molestation have been registered.
A total of 94 kidnapping cases were registered in the four major cities of the state, namely Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara. Whereas, 75 cases were booked in Junagadh Range which includes Amreli, Bhavnagar, Junagadh and Porbander districts of Saurashtra region.
The highest number of molestation cases was registered in Junagadh range.