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Last Updated: 28 November 2013

Mine Ban Policy

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

State not party

Pro-mine ban UNGA voting record

Abstained on Resolution 67/32 in December 2012, as in previous years

Participation in Mine Ban Treaty meetings

Attended, as an observer, the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties in December 2012


The Republic of India has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. In November 2012, India reiterated its long-held position by stating, “We support the approach enshrined in Amended Protocol II of the CCW [Convention on Conventional Weapons] which addresses the legitimate defence requirements of states with long borders. However, we are fully committed to the eventual elimination of anti-personnel landmines.”[1]

On 3 December 2012, India abstained from voting on UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 67/32 calling for universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty, as it has on similar annual resolutions since 1997. India has previously offered the same explanation each year, stating it “supports the vision of a world free of the threat of anti-personnel mines” and that the “availability of militarily effective alternative technologies that can perform, cost-effectively, the legitimate defensive role of anti-personnel landmines will considerably facilitate the goal of the complete elimination of anti-personnel mines.”[2]

India sent an observer to the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in December 2012, where it stated that “The humanitarian ideals espoused by the Ottawa Convention have universal appeal.”[3] However, India also stated it would continue to address “the humanitarian suffering caused by anti-personnel landmines in consonance with its legitimate national security concerns.”[4] India did not attend the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in May 2013.

India is party to the CCW and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war. It submitted its annual Article 13 report for Amended Protocol II.[5]

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

India is one of the few countries still producing antipersonnel mines. India states that all production is authorized and controlled by government agencies.[6] Officials have not responded to a request for updated information on whether it is producing antipersonnel mines since 2011.

During 2010 and into 2011, the Indian Ordnance Factory Board produced M14 and M16 antipersonnel mines. The quantities produced are not known.[7] In 2007–2008, India produced at least five types of mines, including two types of antipersonnel mines (AP NM-14 and AP NM-16) and two types of antivehicle mines (AT ND 1A and AT ND 4D), as well as the APER 1B mine (a type unknown to the Monitor).[8]

India has repeatedly stated that it has had a formal export moratorium of unlimited duration in place since May 1996.[9] It has previously stated that it favors an outright ban on transfer of antipersonnel mines even to States Parties of CCW Amended Protocol II.[10] Five Mine Ban Treaty States Parties have reported Indian-made mines in their stockpiles: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Mauritius, Sudan, and Tanzania. India has previously denied that any transfer of mines to these countries took place.[11]

In 1999, the Monitor estimated that India stockpiled between four and five million antipersonnel mines, one of the world’s largest stockpiles.[12] India has neither confirmed nor denied this estimate. In March 2008, Brigadier Vijay Sharma, former Deputy Director of the Directorate of Military Operations, stated that India does not possess mines that can detonate in the presence of mine detectors and does not possess—nor is it designing—any mine with antihandling characteristics.[13] An address by a military commander to army sappers (engineers), reported by the press in September 2010, stated, “After India became a signatory to a UN convention on landmine [sic], we are compulsorily putting a steel rod measuring a few inches in each mine so that it can be detected during demining operations.”[14]



India’s last major use of antipersonnel mines took place between December 2001 and July 2002, when the Indian Army deployed an estimated two million mines along its northern and western border with Pakistan in Operation Parakram.[15] 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.

In April 2010, in response to a Right to Information Act (RTI) request, India stated that the army had not laid any mines during 2008 or 2009.[16] Officials did not respond to an updated request regarding any use since 2011. Indian officials have also previously stated on many occasions 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.”[17] However, in past years, injuries from mines planted near military bases within Jammu and Kashmir state have been reported.[18]

Some Indian Army officials have said that infiltration of Kashmiri militants across the Line of Control (LoC) between Pakistani- and Indian-administered sections of Kashmir is the main rationale for mines laid along the LoC, as well as the international border.[19] The Monitor has previously reported mine use in counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir.[20] Civilians continued to be killed and injured by mines in Kashmir in 2012 and early 2013 (see Casualties section).

Non-state armed groups

During 2012 and the first half of 2013, no use of antipersonnel mines by non-state armed groups (NSAGs) is known to have occurred in India. There have been reports of use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that appear to be command-detonated.

In a previous response to an RTI request on mine use by NSAGs, a Ministry of Home Affairs official, referring to the NSAG Naxal, wrote, “The naxal affected area are prone to IEDs planted by naxal operation.” He further noted that detection and disposal of IEDs is carried out by the state police/Central Armed Police Forces allotted to the affected states. Army units have not been tasked to deal with Naxal-related problem.”[21] Also, in an April 2010 response to an RTI request on mine use by NSAGs, an Indian Army official stated that NSAGs had used IEDs against the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir state, and that government forces had recovered mines.[22] No further details about the types of devices and circumstances of their recovery were specified.

In 2012 and the first half of 2013, the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-M) and its armed wing, the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army, continued to use command-detonated IEDs (which are not considered antipersonnel mines or prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty).[23] These were frequently reported as “landmines” in the media and specialized reports on the conflict. Indian authorities regularly are reported recovering material from armed groups for making explosive weapons.[24] In January 2013, an explosive booby-trap, placed by Maoists, killed three civilians.[25] Maoist cadres have deployed large numbers of command-detonated roadside bombs, some of which have caused civilian deaths.[26]

No NSAGs have declared a ban on mine use during the past four years.[27]


[1] Statement by Amb. Sujata Mehta, Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament, 14th Conference of the High Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol II, Geneva, 14 November 2012, www.unog.ch/80256EDD006B8954/(httpAssets)/2DC7B486AE7F1503C1257AD1005EC232/$file/08+India.pdf.

[2] India’s Explanation of Vote on A/C.1/66/L.4, 28 October 2011, is identical to its statement in 2010 and 2009; no copy of India’s 2012 Explanation of Vote on A/C.1/67/L.8 was publicly available.

[3] Since the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in 2004, India has sent an observer to every Meeting of States Parties. It also attended every intersessional Standing Committee meeting after 2004, up until 2011.

[4] Statement of India, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 December 2012, www.apminebanconvention.org/meetings-of-the-states-parties/12msp/what-happened-at-the-12msp/day-1-monday-3-december/.

[5] India submitted a CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 report summary sheet on 1 April 2013 covering the period April 2012 to March 2013. As in previous years, all information was marked as unchanged from the previous year, with the exception of Form E: International technical information exchange, co-operation on mine clearance, technical co-operation, and assistance, www.unog.ch/80256EDD006B8954/(httpAssets)/043191B63BFEF0B8C1257B590031D062/$file/India_APII_2013.pdf.

[6] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, Form D, 4 December 2006. However, as reported by the Monitor in 2007, some of the production process appears to be carried out by commercial entities. See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 833.

[7] Email reply to Right to Information (RTI) request made by Control Arms Foundation of India, from Ordnance Factory Board, Ministry of Defence, 5 May 2011.

[8] Email reply to RTI request made by Control Arms Foundation of India on behalf of the Monitor, from Saurabh Kumar, Director, Planning and Coordination, Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, 2 April 2009.

[9] Statement of India, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 December 2012, www.apminebanconvention.org/meetings-of-the-states-parties/12msp/what-happened-at-the-12msp/day-1-monday-3-december/.

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

[12] See Landmine Monitor Report 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.

[13] Control Arms Foundation of India, “Conference on the Indispensability of Anti-Personnel Mines for India’s Defence: Myth or Reality?” Conference report, New Delhi, 26 March 2008, p. 75.

[14] Shubhadeep Choudhury, “Pokhran debate will impact forces, says Army officer,” The Tribune, 21 September 2010, www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090922/nation.htm - 10.

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

[17] Statement by Brig. S.M. Mahajan, Director of Military Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Fifth National Conference of the Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines (Indian CBL), 23–24 April 2008, New Delhi. This has been stated frequently in the past. See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 834; Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 898; and Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 716.

[18] In October 2011, a laborer stepped on a mine at the Khundru Army camp in Anantnag district. “Army porter injured in landmine explosion,” Press Trust of India, 19 October 2011, ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/army-porter-injured-in-landmine-explosion/868881.html.

[21] Email reply to RTI request made by Control Arms Foundation of India, from Sunil Kumar, Director (ANO), Indian Supreme Court, Naxal Management Division (ANO Wing), Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, 3 June 2011.

[22] Reply to RTI request, made by Control Arms Foundation of India, from Lt.-Col. Raghav, Indian Army, 8 April 2010.

[23] The CPI-M and a few other smaller groups are often referred to collectively as Naxalites. The Maoists also have a People’s Militia with part-time combatants with minimal training and unsophisticated weapons.

[24] See, “Two Maoist couriers arrested with explosives cache,” Press Trust of India (Raipur), 25 August 2013, www.dnaindia.com/india/1879882/report-two-maoist-couriers-arrested-with-explosives-cache.

[25] Deeptiman, Tewary, “Maoist tactics during Latehar gun battle evokes memories of acclaimed Bosnian war film,” Times of India, 10 January 2013, articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-01-10/india/36257807_1_karmatiya-forests-landmine-blast-jawan.

[26] See, “Two villagers killed as Maoists blast landmine,” Press Trust of India/Latehar (Jharkhand), 8 January 2013, www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/two-villagers-killed-as-maoists-blast-landmine-113010800554_1.html.

[27] 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.