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On a day the Centre cleared a proposal to amend the Juvenile Justice Act, CCTV footage of five minors stabbing a 19-year-old boy to death in a south Delhi market brought the focus back on the rising brutality of juvenile offenders.
The victim, identified only as Sachin, sustained 15 stab wounds in the attack on Tuesday. The five accused, identified as minors by the police in a press note, were apprehended Wednesday on the basis of the footage and a statement from the victim?s friend.
The footage captured by a CCTV in a shop in Madangir central market shows Sachin and his 17-year-old friend passing by on a motorcycle when they are apprehended by the five boys. It is 3pm, the market bustling with shoppers. They attack Sachin, who falls off his bike, and stab him repeatedly, including in the neck. His friend manages to get away.
?The attackers ran towards the bike with country-made pistols and knives. They attacked Sachin without warning. Sachin tried to run but was chased down. The attackers finally cornered him in a narrow lane and left him there to die,? a police officer said.
The officer added that the five made their getaway by brandishing their weapons as leaving terrified schoolgirls, children and women scrambled inside shops to get out of their way.
During interrogation, the juveniles said they decided to kill Sachin as he bullied them and extorted money from them regularly, the police said. They also claimed he worked for a local criminal, Deva, who is currently in Tihar jail.
Sachin assisted his father at his shop in Madangir while the five juveniles, also from the same area, worked as sanitation workers and labourers. ?All of them are school dropouts. They are being questioned and investigation is on,? said deputy commissioner of police (southeast) P Karunakaran.
Sachin?s body was handed over to his family after a post-mortem at AIIMS on Wednesday. His family claimed he had no criminal history or gang connections, and staged a protest demanding strict action against the accused.
The cabinet approved a plan on Wednesday to raise the amount of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) allowed in its Defence and Railways industries, part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to attract more foreign cash and revive the economy.
The government is to increase the foreign investment limit in the Defence industry to 49 per cent from 26 per cent, a senior cabinet minister told Reuters following a cabinet meeting.
Limits will be lifted altogether on foreign investment in railway infrastructure, although foreigners will still be barred from investing in railway operations, the minister said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Cabinet approval for the plans was widely expected after Modi's two-month old government said it would ease foreign investment limits in its budget last month.
The government's efforts to push through such reforms and open up the economy have already come up against early resistance, however.
Over the past week, the government has twice sought to introduce legislation allowing more foreign investment in the insurance sector, but it has been blocked by the opposition.
India, the world's largest arms importer, wants to open up the domestic weapons industry to help boost domestic manufacturing and modernise its Soviet-era military.
The country's vast railways network has also suffered from years of low investment, turning a once-mighty system into a slow, badly-congested network. The railways spend 94 percent of revenues on operating costs, leaving next to nothing for investment.