Hello. This may sound like a trivial matter, which is why I'd like to know if there is a legal way to do it and whether it is worth it?
I own a house in Bangalore and right next to it is an empty plot that belongs to my uncle. The 50ft x 50ft plot of my uncle has coconut trees, guava trees and a cement ring filled with water and has a lotus plant and we had put some guppies and goldfish inside it too. We have access to the plot via a gate from our house that opens into the plot. All other sides of the plot are walled.
For the past ten years, some muslim children who stay in the nearby lanes, aged around 8 to 12 years (by the time some kids grow up, the other smaller kids become this age and they continue what the older kids were doing), have been jumping the wall every weekend or on holidays to check if there are any coconuts fallen or if there are any fruits they can pluck or if there are any fishes they can steal. If they find anything, they steal it. We shout at them when they come into the compound, and most of the time they run away.
This would've still been ok, if they didn't cause much trouble, but recently they have become very arrogant, and when shouted at, they sit on the wall and mock anyone who is shouting at them (not by using bad language, but by saying that they won't go away). One of us ran after them and they ran away, and now whenever they come, an older boy accompanies them for protection.
We have got fed up of shouting at them, and my uncle does nothing about it either. Once, neighbours told us that the kids had climbed onto the parapet wall of our house too (probably to get access to one of the coconut trees in our compound).
1. I've considered reporting this to the police, but parents have said this could only lead to more problems because the kids are from muslim families, because the plot belongs to our uncle (so we might not have a legal right to do anything about it) and are probably being encouraged by their parents to go in search for the coconuts and fruits. Will the police really be able to help in this matter?
2. If I catch one of them and beat them up, what problems could it create for me?
3. What would be the best legal option to take in this matter, so that they stop bothering us like this?
ps: I've heard that stealing from other people's gardens (by children and adults) is a global phenomenon. Some countries have laws about it, but when it comes to such stealing by children, what do we do?