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UN Chief Asks India To Halt Use Of Pellet Guns Against Kashmiri Children

UN Chief Asks India To Halt Use Of Pellet Guns Against Kashmiri Children

UN Chief Asks India To Halt Use Of Pellet Guns Against Kashmiri Children
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The United Nations (UN) Chief António Guterres has asked India to halt the use of pellet guns against children in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and stop associating children with the security forces in any way.

Issuing his statement in the UN Report on Children 2021, the UN Chief said, “I call upon the government to take preventive measures to protect children, including by ending the use of pellets against children, ensuring that children are not associated in any way to security forces, and endorsing the Safe Schools Declaration and the Vancouver Principles.”

Guterres added, “The disregard for children’s rights amid war and upheaval is shocking and heartbreaking.”

“Schools and hospitals [are] constantly attacked, looted, destroyed or used for military purposes, with girls’ educational and health facilities targeted disproportionately,” he added.

According to the UN report, “A total of 39 children (33 boys, 6 girls) were killed (9) and maimed (30) by pellet guns (11) and torture (2) by unidentified perpetrators (13) (including resulting from explosive remnants of war (7), crossfire between unidentified armed groups and Indian security forces (3), crossfire between unidentified armed groups, and grenade attacks (3), Indian security forces (13), and crossfire and shelling across the Line of Control (13).”

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At least seven schools were used by the Indian security forces for months, the report said, adding that four children were kept by the Indian forces in Indian-administered Kashmir for their alleged association with the armed groups.

“I am alarmed at the detention and torture of children and concerned by the military use of schools,” Antonio Guterres said.

The UN chief said he embraced the positive engagement of the Indian government with the UN’s special representative to execute preventive and accountability measures.

“I urge the (Indian) government to ensure that children are detained as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time, and to prevent all forms of ill-treatment in detention,” he said.

“I also urge the (Indian) government to ensure the implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 to address the use of children for illegal activities and the situation of detained children,” added the UN Chief.

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