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INDIA, Landmine Monitor Report 2001
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Key developments since May 2000: India has for the first time designed a remotely-delivered antipersonnel mine system for trial evaluation and prototype production. It has also designed for production a detectable version of its hand-laid, non-metallic M14 mine. According to government sources, 129 civilians were killed and 715 were injured as a result of landmine and IED incidents in Jammu and Kashmir in 2000.

Related Report:

Mine Ban Policy

India has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty, stating that it has not done so “because our own legitimate security concerns require us, in view of long land borders, to make use of APLs in a purely defensive mode.”[1] In a letter to the ICBL Coordinator in January 2001, the government stated, “India is fully committed to the eventual elimination of anti-personnel landmines.... India has called for a ban on the use of APLs in all internal conflicts.... Our reservations to the [Mine Ban Treaty] pertain primarily to the absence of any acknowledgement in the Convention of the legitimate security concerns of some countries, which necessitates the use of APLs. India’s security environment requires some use of APLs.”[2]

There has been little change in India’s landmine policy in recent years. In December 2000, Ambassador Rakesh Sood summarized India’s policy, “India remains committed to the objective of a non-discriminatory, universal and global ban on anti-personnel mines in a manner that addresses the legitimate defence requirements of States. The process of complete elimination of anti-personnel landmines will be facilitated by addressing the legitimate defensive role of anti-personnel landmines for operational requirements under the defence doctrines of the countries concerned, through the availability of appropriate militarily-effective, non-lethal and cost-effective alternative technologies.”[3]

India abstained from voting on the November 2000 UN General Assembly resolution calling for universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty, as it had the three previous years. India did not attend as an observer the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in September 2000, and did not participate in the Mine Ban Treaty intersessional Standing Committee meetings in December 2000 and May 2001.

India is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and ratified the Amended Protocol II on 2 September 1999. India participated in the December 2000 second annual meeting of States Parties to Amended Protocol II, as well as the April 2001 preparatory meeting for the CCW Review Conference. At that time India agreed to serve as the “Friend of the Chair” regarding proposals on compliance and extension of scope. India submitted its annual report required by Article 13 of Amended Protocol II on 18 October 2000.

Jody Williams (co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize with the ICBL) and ICBL Coordinator Elizabeth Bernstein visited India at the end of April 2001. They first participated in a “PeaceJam” event in Dharmsala in northern India with the Dalai Lama, aimed at educating youth about landmines. Williams and Bernstein then participated in a national landmine conference in New Delhi organized by the Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines. Indian officials refused to meet with the Nobel Laureates from the ICBL. (See below for additional activities by the Indian Campaign).


India has produced two types of antipersonnel mines, the M16A1 and the low metal content M14, both copies of US designs. However, pursuant to its obligations under Amended Protocol II, the government of India has stated that production of non-detectable mines has ceased and that no non-detectable mines have been produced since 1 January 1997.[4] Production of mines is vested solely with government agencies.

India is going to produce new mines that meet the Amended Protocol II standards, apparently both a detectable version of the hand emplaced M14 mine and a newly designed remotely delivered mine with a self-destruct mechanism. India’s October 2000 Article 13 report states, “As regards new production of APLs, a detectable version of the existing mines is being designed. An RDM (Remotely Delivered Mine) System for APLs with the requisite SD/SDA [Self-destruction/Self-deactivation] mechanism has been designed. Prototype production and trial evaluation will follow.”[5] The likely production of a remotely delivered mine system is notable in that India has not previously had RDMs, and in the past suggested banning such mines.[6]

Production of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by non-state actors in India continues.


India states that it has never exported landmines, and has had an official, comprehensive export moratorium in place since 3 May 1996. India also states that it has never imported antipersonnel or antivehicle mines.[7]

It appears that certain militant groups operating in Kashmir have access to mines manufactured by Pakistan Ordnance Factory. During interviews in January 2000 with senior Indian Border Security Force officials and Indian Army officials in Kashmir, the Landmine Monitor researcher for South Asia was shown, and took photographs of, recovered antipersonnel and antitank mines that had the seal of the Pakistan Ordnance Factory on them. It is not known when or how the mines entered the area.[8] There have also been allegations that the RDX explosive and trigger mechanisms used in the IEDs widely employed by the militant groups originate from Pakistan.[9]


India will not provide official figures on its antipersonnel mine stockpile, but knowledgeable Indian and non-Indian sources have put the figure between four and five million.[10] The great majority of stockpiled mines are believed to be the low metal content M14s. India has stated that its “entire stock of antipersonnel landmines would be rendered detectable within the stipulated time period” of Amended Protocol II, which is nine years, by strapping a metal strip onto the mines.[11]


India used mines in its three wars with Pakistan in 1947-48, 1965 and 1971, and in its war with China in 1962. India asserts that the Indian Armed Forces have never used landmines in internal armed conflicts in India’s Northern and North Eastern states.[12] In its December 1999 Protocol II report India stated that there “is no peacetime deployment of landmines by the armed forces;”[13] minefields are to be laid only when hostilities are imminent. However, in its October 2000 Protocol II report, India states that mines have been laid for border defense in areas devoid of civilian population, and that minefields are marked and recorded in conformity with all the provisions of Amended Protocol II.[14]

Militants in Kashmir continue to use large numbers of IEDs, which function as antipersonnel landmines. The use of antivehicle mines by militants has also been reported, notably to ambush army and police vehicles. On 21 January 2001 a passenger bus ran over a landmine, killing three civilians and a soldier and wounding 35 people.[15] In 2000, Indian authorities report the recovery of 386 landmines (antipersonnel and antitank) and 718 IEDs in Jammu and Kashmir.[16]

Landmine Problem

Officials proclaim that “India is not a mine afflicted country,”[17] and that agricultural lands and other useful areas were immediately demined on cessation of previous hostilities.[18] However, some mined areas still exist. These are generally in border areas with scant population, though mine incidents are still reported each year. Minefields are generally mapped and marked in local languages. No surveys or assessments have been carried out by any agency, but the situation, at the moment, would not seem to merit such exhaustive examination.

The most severe humanitarian problem is found in conflict areas where there is extensive use of IEDs by non-state actors. In Jammu and Kashmir alone, 1,041 civilians have been killed and a further 8,736 injured due to explosions caused by mines, improvised explosive devices, and hand grenades.[19]

Mine Action Funding

India has neither contributed nor received any mine action funding. However, it has offered significant assistance internationally in the form of in-kind services in mine clearance and survivor assistance programs.

Mine Clearance

In 2000, the Corps of Engineers, which is the central agency tasked with mine clearance, continued to aid civil authorities in defusing and clearing improvised explosive devices used by militant groups in parts of the country.[20] In the past the Indian Army has been involved in UN-sponsored mine clearance programs in Congo, Angola, Cambodia, Somalia, Mozambique, Bosnia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. During the reporting period of Amended Protocol II – October 1999 to October 2000 India has participated in UN missions in Lebanon and Sierra Leone where, though not officially mandated, mine clearance operations were conducted when mines were encountered.[21]

India proposes to set up a “Mine Information Centre” and a website at the College of Military Engineering in Pune. This will contain data obtained by Indian personnel in UN mine clearance missions and will focus on technical aspects of mines encountered, activation mechanisms, methods of laying, marking and recording mines, and types of mine clearance equipment. The government intends to make this facility accessible to all countries party to Amended Protocol II and hopes information flow will be mutual.[22]

India has also “developed, productionised and issued” a mechanical minefield marking system “to many units wherein the marking will be visible, legible, durable and resistant to environment effects, as far as possible.”[23]

A June 2001 report alleged that Indian army patrols looking for mines and booby-traps in Kashmir often force civilians to accompany them, equipping them only with wooden sticks. An army officer said that no coercion is used and locals provide knowledge of the topography of the area.[24]

Mine Awareness

There are no formal mine awareness programs in India. However, the increased use of IEDs by non-state actors has raised the need for awareness efforts. Police and Army operating in conflict zones have been sensitizing the local populace to the dangers of unidentified objects that could camouflage explosive devices. Electronic and print media have contributed to public awareness of IEDs through wide coverage of the subject.

The Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines is continuing its education and awareness campaigns through seminars and conferences. The campaign has held three National Conferences and 24 regional Seminars and Photo Exhibition in various state capitals in India including Jammu & Kashmir and North East India.[25] The Indian government acknowledged the relevance and importance of public education in its December 2000 CCW statement: “Non-governmental organizations, strategic think-tanks, independent policy groups and research institutions as well as the electronic and print media have contributed to sensitizing the general public on the problem of APLs and awareness of international instruments, particularly the Amended Protocol II.”[26]

Landmine Casualties

There are regular press reports of landmine incidents and casualties in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere due to insurgent activities. Reported landmine casualties largely pertain to victims of improvised explosive devices that are either remotely triggered or function as mines. According to information provided by government of India sources, in 2000, 129 civilians were killed and 715 were injured as a result of landmine/IED incidents in Jammu and Kashmir.[27]

The Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines carried out field research in border villages of the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir in February/March 2000. Researchers identified more than 200 victims from mines planted in the 1947-48, 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan wars. Mine casualties are primarily military and police personnel and civilian farmers and cattle grazers. It was not possible to carry out victim identification field research in the Kashmir valley due to instability in the region.

Survivor Assistance

The government of India reports that “As a consequence of the indiscriminate use of mines during the Kargil conflict, and also the use of improvised explosive devices and landmines by non-state actors, a number of casualties (both armed forces personnel and civilians) have occurred.... Efforts have been made to rehabilitate these personnel through provision of artificial limbs and subsequent assistance for self-employment in addition to financial grants. The Army’s Artificial Limb Centre has played an important role in the field of prosthetics for mine victims.”[28]

Field researchers from the Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines found that all survivors were provided with artificial limbs by the Army or government. However, many limbs were old and needed replacement so that survivors could perform essential daily tasks. The widows of landmine victims were initially provided with some financial assistance by the government but many are in need of additional support.

Disability Policy and Practice

The “Persons with Disabilities Act 1995” provides relief under the legal system for disabled persons. It includes “locomotor disability,” the category relevant to landmine survivors. This Act, however, is not applicable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.[29]

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[1] Ministry of External Affairs, Annual Report 1999-2000 (New Delhi: Government of India, 2000) p. 80.
[2] Letter from Sheel Kant Sharma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, No. AE-I/151/8/2001, to Elizabeth Bernstein, ICBL Coordinator, 17 January 2001.
[3] Ambassador Rakesh Sood, Statement at the Second Annual Conference of States Parties to Amended Protocol II of the Convention on Conventional Weapons, Geneva, 11 December 2000.
[4] India, Article 13 report, 18 October 2000, p. 6.
[5] Ibid, p. 7.
[6] Ministry of External Affairs, Annual Report 1999-2000 (New Delhi: Government of India, 2000) p. 81
[7] Interview with Mr. Manpreet Vohra, Deputy Secretary, Disarmament and International Security Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, 25 June 2001.
[8] Interviews with senior Border Security Force officials and Army officials in Kashmir, BSF Camp and Army Headquarters in Sri Nagar, 6-9 January 2000.
[9] Such allegations can be found in: Ramesh Vinayak and others, “The RDX Files,” India Today, 1 February 1999; “Arms dump unearthed in Kashmir” (PTI), Times of India¸ 13 June 2001; “Huge haul of grenades, rockets in Kashmir” (PTI), Times of India¸ 31 May 2001; “Pak agencies change strategy for ‘fidayeeen,’” The Tribune, 19 March 2001; “Seized arms valued at over Rs.95 cr, The Tribune, 3 December 2000.
[10] This estimate was first provided to Landmine Monitor by non-Indian government officials involved in CCW negotiations with Indian officials. Subsequently, current and former Indian officials have verified the estimate.
[11] Article 13 report, 1 December 1999.
[12] Article 13 report, 18 October 2000, p. 5.
[13] Article 13 report, 1 December 1999.
[14] Article 13 report, 18 October 2000, p. 5.
[15] “Fourteen Killed, Dozens Wounded in Kashmir Violence,” Reuters, Srinigar, India, 21 January 2001.
[16] Official Indian Army Website, http://www.armyinkashmir.org/weapons.html.
[17] Article 13 report, 1 December 1999.
[18] International Committee of the Red Cross, “Anti-personnel landmines: Friend or Foe?” (Geneva: 1996), p. 29.
[19] “Civilian Casualties in J&K” at http://www.armyinkashmir.org/civilian.htm. The period covered is 1990 to 31 January 2001.
[20] Article 13 report, 18 October 2000, p. 5.
[21] Ibid, p. 5. See also Landmine Monitor Report 1999.
[22] Ibid, p. 8.
[23] Ibid, p. 7.
[24] “Threats, Coercion put Kashmir civilians in the firing line,” Agence France Presse, Poonch, India, 27 June 2001.
[25] Recent initiatives included workshop in Guwahati, Assam, on 20 September 2000; in Madras, Tamil Nadu, on 11 November 2000; in Proddatur, Andhra Pradesh, on 26 November 2000 (this was exclusively for police personnel); in the village of Holespet, Andhra Pradesh, on 3 December 2000; in Kohima, Nagaland, 6 December 2000; in Pune, Maharashtra, on 30 December 2001, in Ranjit Singh, Pura, on 17 February 2001, in Village Arnia, on 18 February 2001 and in border villages of Jammu & Kashmir.
[26] Ambassador Rakesh Sood, Statement at the Second Annual Conference of States Parties to Amended Protocol II of the Convention on Conventional Weapons, Geneva, 11 December 2000.
[27] Official Indian Army website, http://www.armyinkashmir.org/civilian.html.
[28] Article 13 report, 18 October 2000, p. 6.
[29] “PWD Act 1995,” at http://www.disabilitynet.org.in/legal/legal1.htm.