Stone flaying by juvenile snubs in Kashmir: study

In a major sign of improvement in the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the valley has seen a drop in rock-bombing incidents since the repeal of the then state’s special status, a study has found.

The study by Dr Asima Hassan of the University of Kashmir reveals that in 2020, out of 246 minors in conflict with the law, only 47 were involved in stone throwing, just over 19%. Similarly, in the first 10 months of 2021, out of 373 minors in conflict with the law, only 86, or more than 23%, were involved in stone throwing.

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The research paper entitled “Juvenile Delinquency in Kashmir (A Special focus on Stone Pelting)”, published by International Journal of Advances in Social Sciences, indicates that from September 1, 2018 to November 31, 2019, out of 520 minors in conflict with the law the majority (311) were involved in stone throwing and other illegal activities.

Of 446 cases against minors from August 1, 2018 to August 5, 2019, more than 46%, or 208 cases, involved stone throwing. Similarly, out of 121 minors detained in Kashmir from August 6, 2019 to December 31, 2019, nearly 50%, or 60, were involved in stone throwing/rioting, the study reveals.

Regarding the socio-economic background of the miners involved in the stone throwing, the study reveals that of the 100 minors in conflict with the law, 74 came from underprivileged backgrounds. “It could be an indicator that poverty is one of the main causes that has a lot of implications for the behavior of children,” he said.

“Children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds are coerced into engaging in delinquent behaviors/activities due to situations or circumstances. Several studies in the past have reiterated that poverty is one of the factors invariably linked to the vulnerability of children and one of the tipping factors that push them to delinquency”, reveals the study.

The data provides a clear insight into how teenagers in Kashmir were used by separatists and militants to carry out attacks on security forces.

Dr Hassan, who works as a member of the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) in Srinagar, said that before 2008, Kashmir did not see the direct involvement of young people or children in dissent against the state in such a scale.

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“But after 2008, children felt a sense of belonging to the collective expression of dissent against the state. More and more young people have taken to the streets to assert their disagreement against the political scenario of the state, which has led to many detentions of children,” she said.

Corroborating her statement, she said, of the 182 minors in conflict with the law detained in the Juvenile Home (Srinagar) from September 23, 2011 to September 30, 2013, more than 60%, or 110, were shovelers. stones.

Dr Hassan said the stones have become a popular weapon choice for Kashmiri youth since the 2008 Amarnath land row turmoil in Kashmir. “While stone-throwing was a common feature of street protests in parts of Srinagar before 2008, during the massive unrest in the summers of 2008, 2010 and 2016, teenagers began a direct confrontation with security forces in using rocks,” she added.

However, Dr Hassan, who has been dealing with juvenile offenders for five years, said stories of police mistreatment were common among all juveniles. “Social Investigation Reports (SIR) prepared by our staff show that all minors have bad experiences with the police. The SIRs have brought to light several cases where minors have been detained by the police, kept in police cells with adults for long periods of time and subjected to abuse and torture while in police custody,” he said. she declared.

“The action of the police was found to be in clear violation of the Juvenile Justice of Jammu and Kashmir (Care and Protection of Children) Act, which states that if a minor is apprehended, he shall be presented to the juvenile court within 24 hours. hours. The court decides whether they should be moved to juvenile homes, and the law categorically states that minors cannot be accommodated in police stations,” she added.

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