NEW DELHI: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday emphasised the need for strict implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act in Jammu and Kashmir under which those using children for stone-pelting and other illegal activities will now face rigorous imprisonment of up to seven years.
The minister said using or inducing children to stone pelting is not only a crime in the eyes of law but is also a crime against humanity.
The Juvenile Justice Act (JJA) has now become applicable in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, following the abrogation of Article 370 and the erstwhile state becoming a Union Territory, a statement issued by the Personnel Ministry said.
Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, was on Sunday briefed about the law against using children as stone pelters, according to an official statement.
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Use of children for illegal activities will invite rigorous imprisonment up to seven years and a fine of Rs 5 lakh, it said.
Chairman of National Commission for Protection for Child Rights (NCPCR) Priyank Kanoongo met Singh and discussed the important issues concerning the rights of children in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh that had emerged from the analysis recently conducted by the NCPCR.
Singh emphasised the need for strict implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act which now stands extended to the two UTs of J-K and Ladakh, the statement said.
Kanoongo informed Singh that as per Section 83 (1) of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, any non-state, self-styled militant group or outfit declared as such by the central government, if recruits or uses any child for any purpose, shall be liable for rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine of five lakh rupees.
Section 83 (2) of the same Act states that any adult or an adult group uses children for illegal activities either individually or as a gang shall be liable for rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine of five lakh rupees, he said.
This, by implication, means that anyone responsible for inducing or using children in stone pelting or any other violent activity will face serious action under the law, the statement said.
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Singh appreciated the NCPCR efforts for the protection of child rights in the country, including in the newly created Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
The minister is the Lok Sabha member from Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur constituency.
Further, NCPCR chief Kanoongo discussed with Jitendra Singh the implications of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 which is also now applicable in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
He also briefed the minister about various awareness workshops and programmes conducted by the NCPCR to sensitise the stakeholders in different districts of Jammu & Kashmir.