Police hired a security guard at the David Sassoon Industrial School and Children’s Home in Matunga, where four underage boys allegedly beat to death a 16-year-old fellow prisoner with mental and speech and hearing problems.
On August 16, the four boys had gathered in the common room of the facility and allegedly kicked and punched the boy repeatedly, police officials said. The caretaker found him unconscious and took him to Sion Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The autopsy report revealed that the victim died of severe internal injuries and trauma.
CCTV cameras captured the entire episode. A murder case was filed against the four, and they were later transferred to Dongri Remand Prison.
An investigation by the children’s home found Ganesh Pujari, who was assigned to the seclusion room, guilty of neglect.
“He failed to take adequate precautionary measures for the safety of the children and because of this the incident of four boys beating a child to death occurred,” said Satish Bansode, assistant director of the home for children, in his statement to the police.
Satish Kasbe, Senior Inspector of Shivaji Park Police Station, said: “Based on a complaint, we booked Pujari under juvenile justice sections. [Care and Protection of Children] Law.”
After the pandemic, each new entrant to the Matunga home is separated from others to prevent the spread of the virus. The 16-year-old had been held in a corner of the ward since August 6, when he was brought to the facility by DB Marg police. He was found strolling alone in Girgaum chowpatty.
However, according to police, he lost control of his stool and defecated in the hallway. Unable to clean himself, he became an easy target for bullies. On the day of the incident, as the other children moved away after a while, the four, aged 17, 16, 15 and 12, kept the attack going for several minutes and because he could not speak clearly, the boy did not shout, police officials said.