Children were being subjected to gross human rights violations during counter-insurgency operations in 197 districts officially notified as affected by internal armed conflicts in India, a human rights body has alleged.
In its report – ‘Nobody’s children: Juveniles of Conflict Affected Districts of India’ – released on Friday, Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) stated that children were being arbitrarily arrested, detained, tortured, sexually assaulted and executed extra-judicially in the said 197 districts.
Ninety one of the 197 districts affected by internal armed conflicts have been notified as “disturbed” under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) while 106 districts have been declared as Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected.
“Juveniles in these districts are denied access to juvenile justice unlike their counterparts in rest of the country,” ACHR Director Suhas Chakma said. Though a heated debate has been raging at national level with respect to lowering the age of juveniles in the wake of the December 16 gang rape case children in these districts continue to suffer, he added.
The report highlighted 15 cases of arbitrary detention and torture and six cases of detention under the Public Safety Act of Jammu and Kashmir, 15 cases of extrajudicial executions and five cases of sexual assault such as rape by the security forces.
“In a number of cases of these blatant violations, the National Human Rights Commission has already awarded compensation and the orders of the NHRC establish the truth beyond any reasonable doubt,”Chakma said.
The 197 districts notified as conflict affected include 71 districts notified as “disturbed” under the AFSPA in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir; and 106 districts declared as LWE affected in states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, the report stated.