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Concern raised over practice of booking minors under PSA

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Srinagar, March 23, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), a New Delhi-based regional human rights organization, has expressed concern over the detention of minors in occupied Kashmir.

The ACHR in a report says that the children in the occupied territory continue to be arrested under the black law, Public Safety Act (PSA). Highlighting the problem, the report mentions about the six cases in which the minors have been detained in brazen violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The report said that on February 7, 2011, Faizan Rafeeq Hakeem, 14, was arrested for his alleged involvement in “stone-throwing.” He was booked under the PSA and shifted to Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu. He was released on April 5, 2011.

The report pointed out that in May 2011, Murtaza Manzoor, 17, was released from jail after the High Court intervened and found his imprisonment to be unlawful. He was locked up for more than three months under the PSA. On June 17, 2010, Sheikh Akram, 15, was arrested under the PSA after attending the funeral procession of Tufail Mattoo. After his arrest, Akram was granted bail by the Principal District and Sessions Court but in order to foil the bail, on July 3, 2010, District Magistrate of Srinagar issued orders to book him under the PSA and he was sent to Kot Bhalwal jail.

The ACHR report said that in November 2010, Harris Rasheed Langoo, 15, was arrested from his home at Malik Sahab Hawal for his alleged involvement in stone pelting and detained under the PSA. Harris was granted bail twice by the court but continued to be detained.

Omar Maqbool, 13, was detained on October 27, 2010, under the PSA and faced similar trauma of re-arrest like Harris. Mushtaq Ahmad Sheikh, 14, was detained under the PSA on April 9, 2010. He was granted bail after eight days, but was re-arrested on April 21, 2010. He was finally released on February 10, 2011.

The report said that in occupied Kashmir and at many places in India, the juveniles were arrested and kept in police lock-up and camps of the army and paramilitary forces in clear violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children, irrespective of their age, are treated as adult and subjected to gross human rights violations including arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, extrajudicial executions and sexual assaults as part of the counter-insurgency operations, the report added.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Email: info@kmsnews.org
Phone: 92-51-4435548, 4435549
Fax: 92-51-4861736

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