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Dhaka Tribune

Indian teen's body found hanging in Tongi juvenile correctional centre

Caretaker of the juvenile centre says the 17-year-old committed suicide

Update : 22 Jan 2021, 01:15 PM

The body of an Indian teenager has been found hanging inside a toilet at a juvenile correctional centre (JDC) in Tongi, Gazipur.

Riz Uddin Molla, 17, from Mograhat’s Mariada area in South 24 Parganas of West Bengal, India, has allegedly committed suicide, according to the juvenile centre's caretaker, Ehiatuzzaman.

He committed suicide at around 6:30pm on Thursday, Ehiatuzzaman added.

Riz was arrested for illegal entry into Bangladesh last year, and a case was filed against him on July 5, Tongi police station OC Aminul Islam said.

He was later placed into the custody of Tongi juvenile correctional centre under Section 4 of the Control of Entry Act, 1952. Riz was a resident of Room 5 at the centre.

Also Read - OP-ED: Why we need better facilities for our children

Sources at the juvenile centre and police said on Thursday, Riz locked himself in the toilet for a long time. On suspicion, Chiku, a resident of Room 2, knocked on the toiler door repeatedly but there was no response.

Chiku informed the other inmates. Another inmate, Kawser, then checked from the open part in top of the toilet and saw Riz’s hanging body.

Later, Helal, the compounder of the centre, recovered the body and took it to Shaheed Ahsan Ullah Master General Hospital in Tongi.

The incident is being investigated, the Tongi OC has said.

The condition of juvenile correctional centres came to limelight after three inmates were killed and 15 others injured in the Jessore juvenile correctional centre due to torture by its officials on August 13, 2020.

Dhaka Tribune investigation found that the centres do not make any effort to actually assist minors in reintegrating with the society by applying the existing models of correction.

Officials appointed to such centres have to generally be more sensitive and humane as they are dealing with minors, but they are mostly hostile. Most of them are not even oriented to deal with juvenile delinquency.

According to the guardians, their children are treated as criminals instead of being considered as juveniles with special needs. There are huge irregularities in serving food, medicines, and other essentials. The minors are also often tortured for protesting the said irregularities.

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