In the past 15 years, 318 children have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir ~ in the age group between 1 and 17 ~ amounting to at least 26 children a year, a report issued by the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a human rights group, said.
According to the report titled, “Terrorised: Impact of Violence on the Children of Jammu and Kashmir” since 2003-2017, 144 of the children were killed by government forces, including JK police, while unidentified gunmen killed at least 147 children and militants killed 12.
Talking to The Statesman, chairperson of Asian Federation against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) and programme coordinator of JKCCS, Khurram Parvez, said the data for this report was collected through field work conducted by JKCCS research teams and cross-checking of newspaper reports of the last 15 years.
Parvez said the purpose of the report is to bring attention to the plight of children affected by the ongoing conflict in Jammu and Kashmir.
The JKCCS report stated that “there are no legal and normative processes or practices protecting children’s rights in Jammu and Kashmir” and “no one among the perpetrators of these heinous crimes (against children) has been brought to justice till date”.
The report said of the 318 children killed, 227 were male while the gender of the remaining 91 could not be ascertained as it was not reported at the time of the killing.
Of the killings, 214 took place in Kashmir division (67.29 per cent) while 96 killings occurred in Jammu division (30.18 per cent). The location of the remaining eight could not be ascertained, the report said.
It said that at least 144 children were killed by the armed forces and state police in Jammu and Kashmir, which alone accounts for 44.02 per cent of the total children killed.
“Most of the children, at least 110 of them, killed in state violence were shot dead in different incidents of violence, and not less than eight children died due to injuries inflicted from pellet shot-guns fired by government forces,” the report said.
The report said at least 12 children have been killed by militants, “most of these killings have taken place due to explosions of explosive devices like grenade blasts and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED)”.
The report also urges the Government of India and Government of Jammu and Kashmir to “allow free access to Jammu and Kashmir, to the United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict and for carrying out investigations into allegations mentioned in this report and for receiving submissions from the victims”.