Juveniles use Facebook to escape from Goa remand home

The probe into smuggling of children from a state-run shelter home for children in Goa found juvenile inmates using social networking website Facebook to contact their accomplices.

The probe has revealed that children from Apna Ghar, the shelter home, accessed Facebook through the mobile of a caretaker, Videsh Mandrekar who currently stands suspended and arrested by police.

The statement to the police before a child welfare committee constituted by the Goa government by a child, said that they used to arrange for gadgets through Facebook to make easy their escape.

In one of the instances, the children had asked their friend to arrange for a gas cutter so that they can escape cutting grills of the guarded premises.

One of the minors who was being rehabilitated by NGO - Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) had arranged for the equipment to facilitate the escape, the statement reads.

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The gangster was arranging for a car to pick up the children once they manage to flee from the shelter home, located on the city outskirts.

Goa police while investigating one of the robberies had found that children from Apna Ghar were smuggled by gangsters in connivance with the caretaker to use them as muggers or killers.

Baffled with the revelation, the state government had appointed senior officer Lavinsons Martins to enquire into the lapses at this shelter home.

Mr Martins has submitted his report to the state government recommending criminal action against the caretakers who had nexus with the gangsters.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who was referred the matter had suggested against the suspension of caretakers so as to avoid scarcity of staff at Apna Ghar.

He had recommended that the rogue caretakers be transferred to head office of State Child and women welfare department, which controls Apna Ghar.

Mr Parrikar said the possibility of recruiting caretakers on contract basis is also being worked out.

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