New Delhi: Over 33,000 juveniles, mostly between the age group of 16 to 18, have been arrested for crimes like rape and murder across the country in 2011, the highest in last decade.
According to a Home Ministry data, of the total of 33,387 juveniles apprehended in 2011, 21,657 were in the 16-18 age group, 11,019 of 12-16 age group and 1,211 between 7-12 age group.
A total of 33,628 adolescents were held in 2001, 35,779 in 2002, 33,320 in 2003, 30,943 in 2004 and 32,681 in 2005 for their involvement in different criminal acts.
Whereas, 32,145 such youngsters below 18 years of age were held in 2006, 34,527 in 2007, 34,507 in 2008, 33,642 in 2009 and 30,303 during 2010, the data said.
The data also shows increasing cases of rape by juveniles. As many as 1,419 such cases were recorded in 2011 as compared to 399 cases in 2001, it said.
It is pertinent to mention that a juvenile and five others were arrested by Delhi Police for brutally raping and assaulting a 23-year-old girl in the national capital on December 16. The victim later succumbed to her injuries.
The cases of murder by juveniles have also shown a surge in last ten years. As many as 531 youngsters below the age of 18 were apprehended for murder in 2001 as against 888 arrests between January and December 2011.