Six juvenile inmates of an observation home here escaped early Monday morning after removing a window grille and scaling the wall, police said. Children having conflict with the law are usually produced in Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB) and subsequently sent to the state-run facility, an official said.
“We have registered a case based on the report of the superintendent of the observation home and started an inquiry,” said Ram Kumar Murmu, Inspector in-Charge, Baidyanathpur police station.
As per initial reports, the six minors ran away from the observation home in Ganjam district, functioning under the Berhampur Juvenile Justice Board, between 2 and 3 am, Murmu said.
The boys might have used the railway track after escaping from the observation home, he said. The police have launched a search operation to nab the six boys. The escapees, aged between 17 to 18 years, belong to Ganjam (2), Koraput (2), and one each from Gajapati and Puri districts, said P R Rao, in-charge superintendent of the observation home.
While one of the inmates was allegedly involved in a murder case, others were allegedly involved in theft cases, he said. All of them were lodged here for less than a year, Rao said. The home had 116 minor inmates at the time of the incident.
All the inmates who escaped on Monday were lodged in the same room along with other juveniles. We came to know about their escape after other inmates in the room informed the guards. They launched a search operation immediately, but in vain, Rao said. At least 14 CCTV cameras which had been installed in different locations of the observation home to keep a tab on the activities of the inmates remained defunct for the last some months. The cameras were not repaired as the mechanic was not available, he said.
Earlier, in May 2020, seven inmates had fled from the facility after assaulting the staff. While six of them had been re-arrested, one of them was yet to be traced.