Two boys—one 16-year-old and the other 17— gave Apna Ghar caretakers the slip and escaped from the state-run home in Merces while they were being taken back to their dormitory on Friday. While the 16-year-old is involved in a theft case in Margao, the 17-year-old has a case of bike theft against him.
The incident took place in the afternoon, when the boys were being taken back to the home after the 16-year-old’s remand hearing before the juvenile justice board.
After the hearing, the caretakers walked the boys from the main gate to the room where they are being put up.
On reaching the dormitory; the boys, noticing that the caretakers had left the main gate open; seized the opportunity and escaped.
When the Apna Ghar staff realized that the boys had run out through the open gate, they raised an alarm and chased them. They managed to find the 17-year-old boy, who was hiding in some bushes adjacent to the home. The 16-year-old, however, has not yet been caught.
The staff then lodged a complaint with the Old Goa police about the 16-year-old’s disappearance and the police are still trying to trace him.
Meanwhile, Emidio Pinho from the NGO, Scan, blamed the Apna Ghar staff. “The 16-year-old, who has not yet been found, was not called by the juvenile justice board nor was his remand to be heard. Why then, did the caretakers take him out to be presented before the board?”