02 Oct 2019
J&K: 144 minors, including 9-year-olds, were detained since August
As many as 144 minors were detained between August 5 and September 23, the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court told the Supreme Court on Tuesday. They were detained for stone-pelting, rioting, and damaging property.
All the minors, barring two, have been released, the top court was informed.
Meanwhile, the state authorities have claimed that no child was illegally detained.
A quick recap of what happened in J&K
But to deal with any violent aftermath of this historic decision, the Centre put the Valley under unprecedented security cover.
The forces also launched a crackdown on elements who could disrupt peace.
Claiming torture, child rights activist approached SC
The lockdown in J&K prompted Child Rights Activist Enakshi Ganguly and Santha Sinha to approach Supreme Court. They claimed minors were being detained and tortured.
Thereafter, the top court asked J&K's JJ Committee for a report, which in turn sought information from state agencies.
The four-member committee was headed by Justice AM Magrey and included Justices DS Thakur, Sanjeev Kumar, and Rashid Ali Dar.
Dismissing media reports, police said no child was illegally detained
The state's DGP submitted a report to the committee and denied holding any child captive illegally.
"No child has been kept or taken into illegal detention by the Police authorities as strict adherence is placed on the provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act," the report added.
The police also refuted media reports as "fictional imagination" and "sensationalism".
A 9-year-old was picked up from Batamaloo
Reportedly, 86 of the 144 minors were detained under Preventive Detention provisions of the Criminal procedure Code.
An 11-year-old was picked up on August 5 from Batamaloo. Another 9-year-old was detained from the same area, two days later. All the minors were released on the same day, claimed police.
The JJ Committee said it received no pleas on the alleged detention of juveniles.
Earlier, minor booked under PSA was released
Meanwhile, the J&K administration revoked the detention order and released a minor last week, who was booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA). The stringent Act clearly states that it should not be evoked on minors.
The juvenile was arrested from his home on August 4, and four days later PSA was slapped on him.
Later, he was shifted to Uttar Pradesh.
Minors were sent home after being detained: Police
"It happens often that when minors/juveniles indulge in stone-pelting, they are momentarily held up on the spot and sent home. Some of these incidents are exaggerated beyond proportion," the high-powered committee quoted the J&K police in its report.