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For children 'in conflict with law'
ICPS to work on minors who are denied their rights
SRINAGAR, Mar 16: While scores of underage children of valley accused of being in conflict with law are denied the basic rights they are entitled under the constitution, the recently formed selection cum oversight committee is looking forward to take initiatives towards providing the minors with the rights they are deprived of.

The chairman of the committee, Justice Hasnain Masoodi said that under the integrated child protection scheme all initiatives would be taken to ensure that the children are provided with the basic rights under the rule of law.

"Any child who is accused of being in conflict with law is entitled rights under the constitution and it is our obligation to provide them with those rights. For example the accused minors are detained and tried in ordinary courts. They are detained in ordinary lockups where they are exposed to an inappropriate atmosphere. Or PSA is slapped on minors which again is the gross violation of law. All these issues need to be dealt upon at a faster pace," Chairman said.

He said the main aim of the scheme was to change the very vocabulary of the treatment meted out to the children in conflict with law.

"Children's protection act was formed in 2013. However on ground level this act was never implemented. The way children of the valley, considered to be in conflict with law, are tried and convicted is sheer violation of law and dealing with this issue is the first priority of the ICPS," Hasnain Masoodi said.

The Selection cum oversight committee reiterates to take initiatives in forming Juvenile Justice Boards and juvenile homes at district level that would deal with the accused minors in valley.

"We are to start the process for making selection at district levels. We have started working. Unless and until we have manpower in place, infrastructure cannot be developed. First of all, we have to have child welfare committees at district levels," Hasnain Masoodi revealed.

In Kashmir valley scores of children are accused of being in conflict with law whether in the cases of stone pelting or committing any offense by going against state machinery.

Though the child protection act was formed in 2013, same has not been implemented yet. The accused minors are detained and tried like adults or ordinary criminals.

The chairman ICPS said apart from providing the minors with their rights, there ought be a change in the very act was terminology used for such children.

"In the first place, the children in conflict with law cannot be called delinquent children. They have to be addressed as the children in conflict with law. These are the minors who without knowing or without intention are in conflict with law. They do not possess the knowledge about the consequences of what they have done," Justice Masoodi said.

News Updated at : Friday, March 17, 2017
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