ISLAMABAD - Children in Occupied Kashmir are suffer­ing worst kind of persecution at the hands of Indian occupation forces as the world has observed the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, and the In­dian Non-Compliance with Convention on the Rights of Child in IOJ&K is a question mark on the conscience of international community.

The purpose of the day is to acknowl­edge the pain suffered by children through­out the world who are the victims of phys­ical, mental and emotional abuse. The day affirms the UN’s commitment to protect the rights of children.

The detention of thousands of Kashmi­ri children has cast doubt on claims life is returning to normal in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K). After visit­ing Kashmir, activists found around 13,000 boys have been detained since its autono­mous status was revoked on Aug 5.

The report, led by the National Federation of Indian Women, detailed claims that boys – some as young as 14 – had been impris­oned for up to 45 days. It also claimed that families were paying up to 60,000 rupees (£678) for their children’s release. Over 13,000 Children, including some as young as 7 and 8-year-olds

According to Jammu and Kashmir Coali­tion of Civil Society 2018 report on Indian Army’s brutalities and killing of Children, children in Jammu and Kashmir are living in the most militarized zone of the world, with the presence of 7,00,000 troopers, which exposes them to the risk of all grave six vi­olations against children as laid out in Unit­ed Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The report examines the situation of chil­dren in the ongoing conflict in Jammu and Kashmir during the last fifteen years – i.e. 2003 to 2017. The report provides statis­tics, graphs, figures, and the analysis of killings of children in the last fifteen years (2003 to 2017) in various incidents of vio­lence in Jammu and Kashmir.

It also demonstrates that children have not been viewed differently by armed forc­es and have been targeted and victimized as part of the state’s offensive against the gen­eral population.

The fifteen-year period from 2003 to 2017, witnessed not less than 318 killings of children (in the age group of 1 to 17) in various incidents of violence in Jammu and Kashmir. The killing of 318 children consti­tutes 6.95% of the civilian killings in the last fifteen years, as 4571 civilians have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir in the same period (2003 – 2017).

In the same period, i.e. from 2003 to 2017, at least 16,436 killings were record­ed in Jammu and Kashmir, and the majority of them included alleged militants number­ing at least 8537 killings. The numbers indi­cate that in the last fifteen years Jammu and Kashmir in an average year have witnessed at least 1,095 killings, which belies the gov­ernment’s claims of ‘return to normalcy’.

The pattern of killings of children in the fifteen-year period suggests that children were direct targets of state violence, as part of its stated offensive to curb uprising and militancy. At least 144 children were killed by Indian armed forces and state police in Jammu and Kashmir, which alone accounts for nearly half, i.e. 44.02 percent, 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 8 children died due to injuries inflicted from pellet shot-guns fired by government forc­es. Twenty-seven children died due drown­ing either caused due to the negligence of armed forces in Wular lake tragedy or being chased by government forces during a pro­test, where victims find no way of escape from the armed forces and forced to jump into water bodies, resulting in their death.

The report lays bare that there are no le­gal and normative processes or practices protecting children’s rights in Jammu and Kashmir as hundreds of minors have been booked under the repressive Public Safety Act (PSA), with total disregard to the fact of their being children.