Volume 2 Issue 24 - December 15, 2004

Land mines are a major cause of disability

DNIS News Network - Landmines do not only kill; they also maim and disable people for life.

An artist's impression of a child made disabled by a landmine.

Land mines claim more lives than shelling and firing. According to data compiled by the Indian Institute for Peace, Disarmament and Environmental Protection, mines have killed or injured 758 persons as compared to 379 casualties due to shelling and firing.

Mines have also left many people disabled. At a recent convention in Delhi, people who had become disabled due to landmines gathered to mobilise opinion against landmines. They urged the Indian and Pakistani governments to sign the Mine Ban Convention.

India voted in favour of the 1996 United Nations General Assembly Resolution urging states to pursue an international agreement banning anti-personnel mines but abstained from voting on every annual pro-mine ban treaty since then.

The Landmine Monitor report, released recently, stated that India holds between four and five million anti-personnel mines, the sixth largest stockpile in the world. According to Dr Balakrishna Kurvey, who is spearheading the Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines, the army operations along the border affected 19 lakh farmers in 1,818 villages in the districts of Ferozepur, Gurdaspur and Amritsar.

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