Srinagar: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Tuesday directed the Commissioner Secretary to the state government to file a report on the management of student protests in Kashmir with regard to protection of child rights.
SHRC member Abdul Hamid Wani also directed the petitioner, Ahsan Untoo, to apprise the commission of what sort of relief is required for children in distress, whether it is freedom from labour or from exploitation or the freedom to be educated. The member further directed the petitioner to submit a draft report on this matter for the SHRC’s perusal.
Human rights activist Ahsan Untoo had filed a petition seeking directions from the SHRC to appoint a commission for securing child rights. The petition stated that the procedure employed for dealing with student protests in Kashmir has backfired. He said that more than a dozen students of minor age have been injured during protests and many have been detained with disregard to their school education.
Untoo pleaded that a special team be constituted to deal with student protests so that direct conflict with police is avoided. “As children have every right to be protected from all exploitations, the same applies to the children of Jammu and Kashmir,” Untoo argued.
The petition further stated that under the Juvenile Justice Act, vulnerable children need to be counselled and should be given a peaceful atmosphere for their upbringing.
“The volatile situation in which civilians are being killed in Kashmir is heavily weighing on their minds and has disturbed them psychologically. They have every right to register their protest but, unfortunately, state authorities have taken recourse to guns and pellet guns to quell student protests, which is against the ethics of democracy,” Untoo said.
The petition asked for a child commission to take care of vulnerable students and rehabilitation and counselling sessions for students who have been detained or injured during protests.