2 Apna Ghar personnel party to juveniles’ crimes, arrested

PANAJI: Apna Ghar, the state-run juvenile home that normally leaks inmates like a sieve, has regularly been in the news for some unsavoury incident or the other.

On Sunday, a racket involving minors lodged at the juvenile home and committing thefts and robberies in connivance with the staff was cracked by joint police operation leading to the arrest of four minors and two staff members of Apna Ghar.

According to police, the staff, a lower division clerk and the caretaker would let out these juveniles during the lunch break to carry out thefts. The boys would carry out their raids and then be back at the house by the time the lunch break ended.

A complaint had been filed recently after a super market was hit and a lap top, a couple of mobiles, 2 gold chains and around Rs 10,000 in cash was stolen. Another of the boys was allegedly involved in the theft of some motorcycles including a Hero Honda bike and a complaint of the same was registered in Canacona.

A joint police operation saw the caretaker, V Mandrekar arrested by the Bicholim police while one of the boys was arrested in Canacona. All are in custody. The original complaint had been filed at the Porvorim police station.

There have been numerous complaints against the juveniles for attacking caretakers when stopped from smoking or chewing gutka, sources say and there was a PIL filed against the pathetic living conditions of children stuck in Apna Ghar for long periods due to lethargy of the authorities.