This Article is From Jul 20, 2013

Kota witnesses rise in juvenile crimes, cops blame coaching dropouts

Kota (Rajasthan): Kota, famous for its IIT coaching centres, is now witnessing a rise in juvenile crimes. Police say over one lakh students, mostly between 13 to 16 years of age, who come here to study in different coaching institutes, are increasingly becoming more vulnerable to bad influences because of an unstructured environment.

Police say most of the students here live in hostels and paying guest accommodations without their parents. Such coaching institutes do not have rules and regulations like a school, due to which children are falling prey to crime and gang wars, especially the ones who are not doing well in their coaching or have dropped out.

Alarmed by the rise in crimes, the Rajasthan Child Rights Protection Committee and the Kota administration have launched a prevention campaign in the city.

"Students who are absent from coaching classes are getting involved in different types of activities. So we have asked coaching institutes to give us a list of absentees, we will trace them down and get in touch with their parents and persuade them to step in and monitor these children," said Praful Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Kota.

The campaign will focus on these 10-15 per cent absentee students. The police have found that it's largely these children who are involved in petty crimes.

"Children are forming gangs and they have names for the gangs they belong to. Then there are temptations like alcohol and porn. These gangs are fighting with each other and that's becoming a problem," said Mrs Deepak Kalra, member of Bal Adhikar Sanrakshak Ayog, an NGO.

While there has been a rise in juvenile crimes, the police also admit there are statistics that often go unreported. Cops say they sometimes don't register FIRs against students since that may spoil the children's records.

Keeping that in view, the prevention campaign will be taken up in a student-friendly way where authorities will counsel students to make them aware about juvenile crimes.