Hizbul, Jaish recruited children in Kashmir in 2017 : UNSG report

Kashmir Violence

United Nations, June 28:Pakistan-based banned terror outfits Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen recruited and used children as combatants in Jammu and Kashmir during clashes with security forces in 2017, according to a UN report on Thursday.

The annual report of the UN Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict stated that over 10,000 children were killed or wounded seriously in conflict globally and over 8,000 were recruited and used as combatants. The report covered January-December 2017 period .

Using the phrase, “grave violations”, the report said during clashes with the security forces, three incidents of recruitment and use of children by the two terror outfits were reported in Jammu and Kashmir.

Noting “grave violations”, it said three incidents of recruitment and use of children by the two terror outfits were reported in Jammu and Kashmir during clashes with the security forces.

“One case was attributed to Jaish-e-Mohammed and two to Hizbul Mujahideen,” the report said, adding that “unverified” reports also indicate use of children as informants and spies by the security forces.

The report covers 20 countries, including war-torn Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen and also the situation in India, the Philippines and Nigeria.

On the situation in India, the report of UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, said children continued to be affected by incidents of violence between armed groups and the government forces, particularly in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and during tensions in Jammu and Kashmir.

The UN said it continued to receive reports of recruitment and use of children, including by the Naxalites, particularly in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. “Naxalites reportedly resorted to the use of a lottery system to conscript children in Jharkhand,” it said, adding children continued to be killed and injured during operations of security forces against armed groups.

Guterres asked the Indian government to put in place measures to hold perpetrators of child recruitment and use to account and engage with the UN to end and prevent violations against children.

In Jharkhand, the report said, suspected Naxalites attacked a school in Khunti district, partially destroying it. With regard to military use, the occupation of over 20 schools was documented by the Central Reserve Police Force in Srinagar, Kashmir, in April.(ANI)

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