UN Sec-General expresses concerns on child casualties in J&K

Detentions, shootings including from pellet guns, and cross-border firing were found to be the main causes for the torture of children.

Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterees has expressed his concerns about child casualties in Jammu and Kashmir. He has called the government to undertake preventive measures to protect children including ending the use of pellet guns. He also urged the government to end the practice of detention of children, including arrests during night raids. Detentions without charges or due processes and the torture in detentions must also end. He added that,  in relation to Naxal insurgency, access to education and health services remains a concern, especially in the state of Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. He also urged the Government to initiate legal proceedings involved in the attack on schools. 

Reporting about the casualties and violations of rights of children in India, the 2020 Report of the UN Secretary-General on ‘Children and Armed Conflict’ which verified over 25000 grave violations. It reported about violations of child rights from across the world that occurred between January and December 2019. The UN reported that it had:

“ verified the killing (8) and maiming  (7) of 15 children (13 boys, 2 girls), between the ages of  1 – 17 years by or during joint operations of the Central Reserve Police Force, the Indian Army (Rashtriya Rifles) and the Special Operations Group of the Jammu and Kashmir Police …”  

Detentions, shootings including from pellet guns, and cross-border firing were found to be the main causes for the torture of children.

Read more on Human Rights Violations in Kashmir: https://gaurilankeshnews.com/kashmir-women-fact-finding-team-reveals-chilling-stories-out-of-kashmir-under-lockdown-all-is-not-well/

The UN has also verified attacks on nine schools in Jammu and Kashmir by unidentified elements. 68 children had also been detained by the Indian Security Forces in Jammu and Kashmir. They were aged between 9-17 years. These detentions were made on grounds of national security. 1 was detained for alleged or actual association with the armed groups in the state read the report. 

However, in Jharkhand, approximately 10 children were rescued by the Indian police from the Naxalite insurgency groups the report read.

India’s response

India has expressed disappointment over the report from 2019 stating that it was “an attempt to expand the mandates in a selective manner”.

In August last year, an Indian diplomat at the UN said that “we are disappointed that the Secretary General’s Report includes situations which are not armed conflicts or of a threat to international peace and security”. 

However, Violations by the powerful countries including Russia, the US, and Israel was omitted from the report alleged Human Rights Watch.  

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