Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 14 November 2023


The Republic of India has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty.

At the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee in November 2022, India reiterated that it “supports the vision of a world free of antipersonnel landmines and is committed to their eventual elimination.” India further stated that “the availability of militarily effective technologies that can perform cost effectively the legitimate defensive role of antipersonnel landmines will considerably facilitate the goal of the elimination of antipersonnel landmines.”[1]

India has given slight variations of the same statement since 2007, which shows how little its position on the Mine Ban Treaty has advanced.

India has ratified the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II, which permits certain antipersonnel landmines and, in India’s view, “enshrines the approach of taking into account legitimate defence requirements of states especially those with long borders.”

India participated as an observer at several meetings during the Ottawa Process that created the Mine Ban Treaty, including the Oslo negotiations in September 1997. However, India did not adopt the treaty or attend its signing conference in December 1997.

India has attended several meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty as an observer, most recently the Twentieth Meeting of States Parties held in Geneva in November 2022. India gave a statement that covered the same points made in previous years at meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty and the UNGA First Committee.[2]

India abstained from voting on UNGA Resolution 77/63 on 7 December 2022, which called for universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. India has abstained from voting on the annual UNGA resolution promoting the treaty since it was first introduced in 1997.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) has previously urged India to undertake a comprehensive review of its policy on antipersonnel mines.[3]

India is party to CCW Protocol V on explosive remnants of war (ERW). India is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production and transfer

India is one of the few remaining countries to still produce antipersonnel landmines, exclusively through the state-owned and controlled Indian Ordnance Factories.[4]

In August 2020, India announced plans to increase domestic production of antipersonnel mines and end their importation.[5] The Indian Armed Forces reportedly received the first of 700,000 domestically-produced “Nipun” antipersonnel blast mines at the end of 2021, which were designed to replace the M-14 antipersonnel mine.[6]

At least two other mines are reportedly under development, including “Ulka,” a bounding antipersonnel fragmentation mine and “Parth,” a directional antipersonnel landmine.[7]

Indian Ordnance Factories has produced the M-14 and M-16 antipersonnel mines, which are copies of earlier United States (US) designs.[8] Tender records retrieved from a publicly accessible online government procurement database from 2016–2022 show that Indian Ordnance Factories has listed tenders for components of M-14, M-16, and APER-1B antipersonnel landmines.[9] Components produced under these contracts have been supplied to Ammunition Factory Khadki and Ordnance Factory Chandrapur in Maharashtra state, and to Ordnance Factory Dum Dum in West Bengal state.[10]

In November 2022, India said that a moratorium on the export and transfer of antipersonnel mines has been in place since May 1996.[11] India has previously stated that it favors an outright ban on the transfer of antipersonnel landmines, even to States Parties of CCW Amended Protocol II.[12] Five States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty have reported Indian-made landmines in their stockpiles: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Mauritius, Sudan, and Tanzania.

In June 2018, a private Indian arms manufacturer advertised a “bounding mine with fuze” in its sales catalogue at the Eurosatory military trade event in Paris. On the second day of the event, Eurosatory organizers ordered the display booth of the Indian company to close, and removed their entry at the event from the online catalogue.[13] Previously, in February 2017, the same Indian arms manufacturer had components for bounding fragmentation antipersonnel landmines listed within its sales catalogue on display at the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) military trade event in Abu Dhabi.[14]


In 1999, the Monitor estimated that India stockpiled between four and five million antipersonnel mines, making it one of the world’s largest stockpilers.[15] India has neither confirmed nor denied this estimate.


Government use

India’s last significant use of antipersonnel mines was between December 2001 and July 2002, when the Indian Army laid an estimated two million landmines along its northern and western borders with Pakistan, in Operation Parakram.[16]

In 2010, India stated that the army had not laid any mines during 2008 or 2009.[17] Indian officials have often stated that “There is no minefield or mined area in any part of India’s interiors,” but have acknowledged that “minefields are laid, if required, along the border areas as part of military operations.”[18]

The Monitor has previously reported mine use during counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir.[19] Civilians continued to be killed and injured by landmines in Kashmir in 2022 and 2023.[20] In August 2020, conflict between India and China over disputed territory in Kashmir resulted in at least one death and one injury due to mines laid in the past on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).[21]

Use by non-state armed groups

New use of improvised antipersonnel landmines, attributed to non-state armed groups (NSAGs) affiliated with the Maoist insurgency in India, has been reported sporadically since 2017.

There were several reports and allegations in 2022 and 2023 that the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-M) and its People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) continued to use pressure plate antipersonnel mines. In May 2023, a man was killed by a mine attributed to Maoist rebels while foraging in Luiya forest in Chaibasa district, Jharkhand state. Several other villagers in Chaibasa district had been reported killed by landmines in similar incidents in the first months of 2023.[22] In January 2023, the Maoist insurgents had sent leaflets to villages in Kolhan division, Jharkhand state, warning that they had laid explosives in the area.[23]

Previously, in December 2022, a man collecting wood in Goilkera forest in West Singhbhum district, Jharkhand state, died after stepping on a landmine.[24] In September and November 2022, mines attributed to Maoist rebels were removed by the Indian military after livestock injuries in Kathagudem, Telagana state.[25]

There have been no reports or allegations of landmine use by insurgents in India’s northeastern states, or in Jammu and Kashmir, in recent years. Previously, some NSAGs operating in India committed to ban antipersonnel mine use, but none have done so in the past decade.[26]

[1] India Explanation of Vote on Resolution L.40, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 1 November 2022, A/C.1/77/PV.28, p. 20.  India’s explanation is virtually identical to its Explanation of Vote in 2018–2021, and in previous years. See, for reference, India’s statement quoted in ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2007: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2007).

[2] Statement of India, Mine Ban Treaty Twentieth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 25 November 2022.

[3] Ashutosh Sharma, “India’s morbid obsession with landmines,” National Herald, 22 February 2018; and Ashutosh Sharma, “Operation Parakram saw the largest use of anti-personnel mines by any government,” National Herald, 22 February 2018.

[4] Monitor meeting with Cmdr. Kumar, Ministry of External Affairs, and Col. Kabthiyal, Ministry of Defence, CCW Group of Governmental Experts (GGE), Geneva, 27 August 2018.

[7]New Family of Munitions (NFM),” Bharat Rakshak, 19 January 2020. Also detailed are three new models of antivehicle mines

[8] Email reply to Right to Information Request made by Control Arms Foundation of India, from Ordnance Factory Board, Ministry of Defence, 5 May 2011.

[9] The Monitor has reviewed annually the listing on Indian Ordnance Factories Bid Assist website (previously the e-Procurement website, titled “current contracts”). Bid Assist provides a tender number, opening and closing dates, and a detailed description of the item to be manufactured. Contracts have been concluded with Indian Ordnance Factories in Maharastra or West Bengal, where mines are assembled with components from private companies.

[10] The following companies were previously listed as having contracts listed for production of components of antipersonnel mines on the Indian Ordnance Factories Purchase Orders webpage, between October 2016 and November 2017: Sheth & Co., Supreme Industries Ltd., Pratap Brothers, Brahm Steel Industries, M/s Lords Vanjya Pvt. Ltd., Sandeep Metalkraft Pvt Ltd., Milan Steel, Prakash Machine Tools, Sewa Enterprises, Naveen Tools Mfg. Co. Pvt. Ltd., Shyam Udyog, and Dhruv Containers Pvt. Ltd. In addition, the following companies had established contracts for the manufacture of mine components: Ashoka Industries, Alcast, Nityanand Udyog Pvt. Ltd., Miltech Industries, Asha Industries, and Sneh Engineering Works. Mine types indicated were either M-14, M-16, APERS 1B, or “APM” [antipersonnel] mines. Information obtained from searching Indian Ordnance Factories webpage, “List of Registered Vendors,” undated.

[11] India Explanation of Vote on Resolution L.40, UNGA First Committee, New York, 1 November 2022, A/C.1/77/PV.28, p. 20.  

[12] Statement by Amb. Jayant Prasad, Eighth Annual Conference of States Parties to CCW Amended Protocol II, Geneva, 6 November 2006.

[13] Upon being alerted to Ashoka’s presence at the Eurosatory military trade fair, the ICBL contacted the French government regarding the sale catalogue’s antipersonnel mine. The brochure was observed on display at Eurosatory by Omega Research in June 2018. Emails from Omega Research, 11–12 June 2018. See also, Rachida El Azzouzi, “The warrior planet parades at Eurosatory,” Mediapart, 15 June 2018.

[14] The brochure was observed on display at IDEX by Omega Research in February 2017. Email from Omega Research, 7 November 2017.

[15] See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 1999: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, April 1999), p. 467. The figure may no longer be accurate following the large number of mines planted along the Pakistani border in 2001 and 2002, or taking into consideration new production of mines.

[16] This was probably the most extensive use of antipersonnel mines anywhere in the world since the Mine Ban Treaty was negotiated and first signed in 1997. See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2006: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, July 2006), p. 898; ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2004: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, October 2004), pp. 976–977; and ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2002: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, August 2002), pp. 660–662.

[17] Reply to Right to Information Act Request, made by Control Arms Foundation of India, from Lt.-Col. Rajesh Raghav, GSO-1RTI, Central Public Information Officer, Indian Army, 8 April 2010.

[18] Statement by Brig. S. M. Mahajan, Director of Military Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Fifth National Conference of the Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines, New Delhi, 23–24 April 2008. This has been stated frequently in the past. See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2007: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2007), p. 834; ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2006: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, July 2006), p. 898; and ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2005: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2005), p. 716.

[19] See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2009: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2009), p. 933; ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2007: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2007), p. 834; and, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2006: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, July 2006), p. 898.

[20] See, for example, Sayima Ahmad, “Shepherd injured in landmine blast near LoC in Poonch,” The Siasat Daily, 25 May 2023; “Boy killed, two injured in Kargil landmine explosion,” The Hindu, 16 April 2023; and Noor Mohi-ud-din, “Woman injured in landmine blast along LoC in Baramula,” Rising Kashmir, 5 November 2022.

[21] Vijaita Singh, “Deceased SFF soldier patrolled areas along LAC for past one month,” The Hindu, 5 September 2020. Mine casualties, both military and civilian, including civilians acting as porters for the army, occur monthly according to media monitoring by the Monitor. See also, Ashutosh Sharma, “Death-traps along the border: Why are Indian landmines killing Indians?,” National Herald, 9 December 2018.

[22]Jharkhand: 1 Killed In Landmine Blast By Maoists,”Ommcom News, 25 May 2023.

[23]Maoists ‘impose’12 hr curfew in Jharkhand’s Kolhan,” WebIndia123, 18 January 2023.

[24] Satyajeet Kumar, “Man killed after stepping on landmine placed by naxals in Jharkhand’s Goilkera,” India Today, 29 December 2022.

[26] In March 2009, the Zomi Re-unification Organisation renounced mine use by signing Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment; as did the Kuki National Organization in Manipur in August 2006, and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim-Isak/Muivah in Nagaland in October 2003. In October 2007, the United Jihad Council, a coalition of 18 organizations in Kashmir, issued a Declaration of a Total Ban on Antipersonnel Mines in Kashmir.