New Delhi: As many as 144 children, between the ages of 9 and 18 years, were arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir police, since August 5, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s Juvenile Justice Committee said in a report the Supreme Court. Though, it denied that they were being held illegally. Of those arrested 142 were released.
The report is based on the data the panel received from the state police and Integrated Child Protection Services, J&K (ICPS).
A three-judge bench led by Justice NV Ramana was hearing a petition filed by child-rights activists claiming that minors have been arrested under preventive detention law in Kashmir after August 5, when Centre scrapped Article 370. The apex court, during the last hearing asked the HC panel to enquire into the allegations.
The report, a copy of which has been reviewed by Hindustan Times said minors as young as 9 and 11 years-old were detained for causing minor injuries and creating law and order problem.
The report also cited the state police and said many of the allegations regarding the illegal detentions were exaggerated. “It happens often that when minors/juveniles indulge in stone pelting, that they are momentarily held up on the spot and sent home. Some of these incidents are exaggerated beyond proportion,” the committee quoted the police as saying.
“No child has been taken into illegal detention. As and when any report in respect of a juvenile in conflict with law is received, the said juvenile is dealt strictly as per the prescribed law on the subject,” read the report.