New Delhi: Maoists are recruiting and indoctrinating children and have constituted children’s squads and associations as part of mass mobilisation, a UN report said.
The annual report of the UN Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, submitted to the Security Council last week, said information has been received on recruitment and use of children by Naxalites, particularly in Chhattisgarh and some districts in adjoining states.
“Maoist armed groups were recruiting and indoctrinating children, and had constituted children’s squads and associations (Bal Dastas, Bal Sangham and Bal Manch) as part of mass mobilisation,” it said quoting official records.
The UN said the information was supported by a 2010 National Commission for Protection of Child Rights report, which indicated that children were being recruited by Naxals through intimidation and abduction and were used in support roles, including as lookouts, messengers, porters and cooks.
The report also pointed to the recruitment of children by now defunct militia Salwa Judum. The Supreme Court last year ordered disbanding of the anti-Maoist group.
Referring to Home Ministry’s statistics, the UN report said in 2011, incidents of attacks on schools by Maoists continued to be reported and between 2006 and 2011, Maoist armed groups destroyed 258 school buildings, mostly in Chhattisgarh, Jharkand and Bihar, of which 21 schools were destroyed between January and November 2011