Landmine Monitor report 2008 (India)
Amidst rising causalities of landmine victims in India, Control Arms Foundation of India organized a short programme to launch the "Landmine Monitor report 2008" with timely panel discussion on " Addressing Rising Insecurity in India: Ways to control spread and proliferation of Arms, Light weapons, Landmines and IED'S" at its office premises in New Delhi.
The Landmine Monitor Report 2008 published by International Campaign to Ban Landmines, noted at least 170 causalities of victims activated explosives devices have been identified, 41 people were killed and 129 injured. Out of these, there were 89 civilian causalities and 81 military.
Lt.Gen Dr B S Malik(retd), President Control Arms Foundation of India launched the Landmine Monitor Report 2008 in the presence of Ms. Binalakshmi Nepram, Secretary.General CAFI, Mr Srinivas Burra of ICRC, Col (retd).Anil Bhat, Dr Bibhu Routray , Wing Commander (Retd) Praful Bakshi and many others personalities from media, think tanks, and academics etc.
Addressing the programme Dr Malik said "Human security aspect in the national context pictures a crisis scenario where state machinery has to respond as the threats to the internal security have undergone fundamental changes. In this context the control over small arms and explosives i.e. IED's and landmines is an area of concern". In the international context, India's oblivion to the destructive capabilities of the landmines, evident in its self imposed isolation in the mine ban campaign does not provide a picture of normalcy in Indian context. He further added "Landmines are as dangerous for the country as it is for many others".
The recent Mumbai tragedy dominated the discussion, with the participants showing anguish over the state of affairs, leading to insecurity among common people. Addressing the session, Ms. Nepram said "This kind of threat cannot be dealt by India alone, needs international action and coordination". She added "We urgently need India positive response towards building Arms Trade Treaty, which has the potential to prevent such damages to the society by checking and making arms transfers accountable"
"Even the government effort of banning of possession, sale and use of nitro-glycerin or such other substance throughout the country with effect from the first day of April, 2004 has also not improved the situation "according to Dr.Bibhu Routray of Institute of Conflict Management (ICM), New Delhi.
The rise of landmine victims itself shows the inefficiency of state policy. He pointed the need for efficient operation tools and equipments to combat the menace of mines in the interiors of the country. Reflecting the changes which international law making has undergone, Mr.Srinivas Burra of ICRC elaborated upon the role of individuals and civil societies groups have played in the last decade or so in creating new instrument of law for human security. He quoted "here is where the organizations like Control Arms Foundation of India stands out".
Signing the mine ban treaty is also a national security issue and has strategic implications and therefore a little bit of prudence in dealing with this issue is necessary. According to Wing Commander (retd) Praful Bakshi "Nothing will happen in India, until there is a joint assurance amongst its neighboring countries to do the same". Many participants looked at ammunitions control as a potential area to work on, looking at proliferation of country made weapons and its impact leaving aside the international dimension of the issue.
To make a strong statement in the political circles and to appraise the state of the development in the landmine campaign, the Report will be sent to different ministries including the Prime Ministers' office.
Von: 09.12.2008, By Binalakshmi Nepram, www.kanglaonline.com