The Jammu and Kashmir Police has accepted that they have arrested up to 144 minors, including children as young as nine years of age since August 5, when the Modi government scrapped the Article 370 and bifurcated the state.
According to data provided by the J&K police, many children had been released on the very same day. The police claimed, all these children were “in conflict of law” and “were dealt with in consonance [with] the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013”.
“The children, if in conflict with law has been subject to custody, the same has been placed in observation home under the orders of respective Juvenile Justice Board,” the police said.
J&K police had also come out with a list of 36 children who had been called at the superintendent observation home in Harwan, Srinagar, since August 5. Of the 36 children sent to the observation home, 21 were bailed out and 15 were under inquiry.
The police said that the “rumours” about minors being lodged in custody “in violation of law” were “found not factually true”. These media outlets coming out with news curtailing “facts imagined from thin air” to create stories “which may have element of sensationalism”.
The reports were made to a 4 member Juvenile Justice Committee of the J&K High Court. On September 20, the Supreme Court had directed the committee to file a report on the alleged detention of children.
The director general of police “categorically denied the specific allegations made in the writ petition”, the juvenile justice committee noted. The committee submitted its report to a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court on October 1.