India

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Last updated: 27 November 2013

Casualties

Casualties Overview

Total known casualties by end 2012

3,143 (1,074 killed; 2,068 injured; 1 unknown)

Casualties in 2012

78 (2011: 51)

2012 casualties by outcome

11 killed; 66 injured; 1 unknown (2011: 13 killed; 38 injured)

2012 casualties by device type

12 antipersonnel mines; 7 victim-activated IEDs; 1 other ERW; 58 unknown devices

In 2012, the Monitor identified 78 casualties from mines, including victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) in the Republic of India. Of the total casualties for which the age and sex were known,[1] 18 were men; including 10 military/security personnel. There were 69 civilian casualties including 41 child casualties, or 72% of civilian casualties for which the age was known, compared to 51% in 2011. Another 13 female casualties were recorded, including at least nine girls.[2]

The 78 mine/IED and ERW casualties identified in 2012 represented an increase from recent years. Such fluctuations in annual casualty figures are not necessarily indicative of trends and can be attributed to the challenges in collecting consistent and accurate data from media and local sources, since India lacks a systematic data collection system.

The cumulative number of casualties in India is not known. Between 1999 and 2012, the Monitor identified 3,143 victim-activated mine/IED and ERW casualties in India (1,074 killed; 2,068 injured; 1 unknown). Nearly half of these casualties were civilians.

Victim Assistance

The total number of survivors is unknown but was at least 2,068 through the end of 2012.

Assessing victim assistance needs

No efforts were made to assess the needs of mine/ERW survivors in 2012.

Victim assistance coordination

Government coordinating body/ focal point

None; for all persons with disabilities: the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment’s (MSJE) Disability Division

Coordinating mechanism(s)

None

Plan

None

India does not have any specific coordination mechanisms or national plans for mine/ERW victim assistance.

The MSJE coordinates assistance for all persons with disabilities by regulating physical rehabilitation services and various disability funds, and developing and implementing India’s legal framework as it relates to disability.[3] A new Department of Disability Affairs within the MSJE went into effect from May 2012. The government established the department to increase its focus on disability policy issues. The MSJE formed a committee in 2011 to draft new legislation for persons with disabilities to replace the present Persons with Disabilities Act (1995). In September 2012, the committee proposed a draft of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2012 to the ministry.[4]

India’s Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Amended Protocol II Article 13 report for the period from April 2012 to March 2013 did not include details of victim assistance provided, and India marked that the situation had remained unchanged since 2006.[5] As in past years, India stated that reporting on the protection of the civilian population from the effects of ERW was not applicable for India in its CCW Protocol V Article 10 report.[6] In 2010, India reported that “mine victims are assisted with rehabilitation inter alia through financial compensation employment and health care including by providing prosthetics.”[7]

Survivor Inclusion

Associations of mine survivors were included in the consultative process to draft the national Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill.[8]

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Victim assistance activities[9]

Name of organization

Type of organization

Type of activity

Composite Regional Center

Government

Rehabilitation Center in Poonch, Kashmir

Preetam Spiritual Foundation

National NGO

Support for prosthetics for persons with disabilities, including mine survivors, in Poonch, Kashmir

Hope Disability Center

National NGO

Outreach, referral, prosthetics and orthotics, rehabilitation

Jammu & Kashmir Landmine Survivors (JKLS)

Survivor Association

Support to survivors to obtain legal benefits from the government

Control Arms Foundation and Human Rights Law Network

National NGO

Legal support and advocacy for the rights of mine survivors and other persons with disabilities

Indian Red Cross

National Society

Emergency medical response and transport; referrals for mine/ERW survivors to rehabilitation centers

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF)

International NGO

Psychosocial care to people wounded by violence and their families in Kashmir

ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD)

International

Organization

Training and materials for two training institutes; covered costs of treatment for destitute persons with disabilities at both institutes

ICRC

International Organization

Support for emergency medical response and healthcare in regions affected by violence; provision of materials and training and support for accommodations and transportation for two rehabilitation centers on Jammu and Kashmir; support for the opening of a district rehabilitation center in Nagaland

In 2012,the ICRC continued to provide support for three prosthetic and orthotic centers in Jammu and Kashmir: the Artificial Limb Centre at the Bone and Joint Hospital, Srinagar, the Artificial Limb Centre at the Governmental Medical College, Jammu, and the Voluntary Medicare Society. The ICRC-supported centers assisted 23 mine/ERW survivors to obtain prosthetic limbs in 2012, compared to 50 survivors in 2011. Yet this was still a significant increase in contrast with the period 2000 to 2010, when just 95 survivors were served all together. The ICRC also supported a center in Nagaland and another in Chhattisgarh. Overall, the number of people receiving services at ICRC-supported centers in 2012 increased by 30% compared to 2011.[10]

The MSJE reported that the government had established 215 district disability rehabilitation centers throughout India. These services were concentrated in urban areas. The MSJE identified 100 more underserved districts in need of similar centers. The centers provide comprehensive rehabilitation services such as medical care, corrective surgery, prosthetics, educational, vocational training, and community awareness.[11]

However, access to rehabilitation remained difficult for the poorest people with disabilities due to a range of factors, including the lack of facilities in rural areas; most facilities not being fully operational because of insufficient equipment, materials, and professional staff; a lack of awareness of existing services and rights among potential beneficiaries; the need to cover costs for transportation as well as for accommodation and food during treatment.[12] The distribution of prosthetic limbs in mine-affected areas was reported to be “haphazard” and lacking planning to replace worn and damaged prostheses.[13]

There was reported to be an urgent need for a long-term rehabilitation policy addressing the needs of child survivors and children with disabilities in Jammu and Kashmir.[14]

While many survivors were reported to be receiving a monthly disability allowance, this was considered insufficient to live on.[15]

The government has stated at international meetings that mine survivors and families of those killed by mines are entitled to compensation.[16] Monetary compensation to landmine survivors and family members of people killed is distributed by the Ministry of Defence. However, many survivors have not been successful in applying for compensation.[17] A local activist was quoted as saying that a concrete rehabilitation policy for survivors was needed because, “The process of compensation is quite tedious. By the time it is complete, people are tired, insane or dead and only a handful of people have actually benefited.”[18]

The standard one-time compensation payment from the government is US$1,500, which is inadequate to cover treatment and the future needs of survivors.[19] To pay for medical expenses, families often have to sell their land or livestock, resulting is worsening economic situations overall with no support for livelihoods.[20] In 2012, a local government official was reported as saying women rarely file compensation claims because they “are very shy and are not allowed to come so far,” and also that people in remote areas may not be aware of the compensation program.[21]

The government program for the universalization of elementary school education,the Education for All Movement(Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, SSA), has provisions for paying special attention to children with disabilities.[22] However, SSA was not addressing the needs of child mine/ERW survivors in Poonch district.[23] There were no known economic inclusion initiatives such as livelihoods training or employment measures targeting, or inclusive of, mine/ERW survivors in 2012.

Psychosocial support for survivors continued to be limited, and declined in 2012. MSF provided psychosocial care, particularly for conflict and weapons victims in Kashmir.[24] However, MSF services in the Kupwara district of Kashmir ended in May 2012.[25]

India’s Persons with Disabilities Act 1995 protects the rights of persons with disabilities. However, discrimination remained pervasive, especially in rural areas. Legislation requires that all public buildings and transportation be accessible for persons with disabilities, though accessibility remained limited with few exceptions.[26]

India ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 1 October 2007.

 



[1] The age of 67 casualties and the sex of 48 casualties were recorded.

[2] Monitor Media monitoring 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012. For casualty data from previous years, see previous Monitor country profiles for India at: www.the-monitor.org.

[3] MSJE, “About the Division.”

[4] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programme (PRP), “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, May 2013, p 58.

[5]CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for the period April 2012 to March 2013), Form B.

[6]CCW Protocol V Article 10 Report (for the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013).

[7]Statement of India, Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, 29 November 2010.

[8] MSJE, “The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2011,” Hyderabad, 30 June 2011, p. 48.

[9] There are hundreds of service providers (most of which are public or private health or rehabilitation centers) delivering assistance to persons with disabilities in India. The organizations listed here have some specific focus on mine/IED/ERW survivors. ICRC, “Annual Report 2012,” May 2013, Geneva, p. 296; ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2012,” September 2013, Geneva, p. 58; ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD), “Annual Report 2012,” May 2013, Geneva, p. 28; Hope Rehabilitation Center, www.hopecentrekashmir.org/; and Athar Parvaiz, “Explosives shatter lives in Kashmir,” Asia Times Online, 21 May 2013.

[10] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, September 2013, p 58; and email from Nicole Hogg, ICRC, 15 July 2013.

[11] United States (US) Department of State, “2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: India,” Washington, DC, 17 April 2013.

[12] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, September 2013, p 58.

[13] Betwa Sharma, “Kashmiris, Disabled by Conflict, Battle for Compensation,” India Ink, 26 September 2012.

[14] Ashutosh Sharma, “Kashmir: Childhood Under Threat,” Countercurrents.org, 9 July 2013.

[15] Ashutosh Sharma, “Scarred lives: The child victims of conflict,” 3 September 2013; and Baba Umar, “Mines of war maim innocent,” Tehelka Magazine, Vol. 8, Issue 17, 30 April 2011.

[16]Statement of India, Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, 29 November 2010; statement by Prabhat Kumar, Permanent Mission of India to the Conference on Disarmament, Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 1 December 2009; and statement by Prabhat Kumar, Permanent Mission of India to the Conference on Disarmament, Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 24–28 November 2008.

[17] Baba Umar, “Mines of war maim innocent,” Tehelka Magazine, Vol. 8, Issue 17, 30 April 2011.

[18]The exploding reality,” The Hindu, 14 June 2013.

[19] Athar Parvaiz, “Explosives shatter lives in Kashmir,” Asia Times Online, 21 May 2013.

[20] Ashutosh Sharma, “The Bruised Childhood,” Greater Kashmir, 25 August 2012; and Athar Parvaiz, “Explosives shatter lives in Kashmir,” 21 May 2013.

[21] Betwa Sharma, “Kashmiris, Disabled by Conflict, Battle for Compensation,” India Ink, 26 September 2012.

[22]Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan,” accessed 11 November 2013.

[23] Ashutosh Sharma, “Kashmir: Childhood Under Threat,” Countercurrents.org, 9 July 2013.

[24] MSF, “Providing mental health services in Jammu and Kashmir,” accessed 11 November 2013.

[25] Nida Najar, “Doctors Without Borders Pull Back in Kashmir,” India Ink,7 May 2012.

[26] US Department of State, “2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: India,” Washington, DC, 17 April 2013; and US Department of State, “2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: India,” Washington, DC, 8 April 2011.