More than 20,000 boys in Indian-administered Kashmir are facing trials which require them to appear in court at short notice, their lawyers allege.
The teenagers have been charged over their alleged role in throwing stones at the security forces during anti-India demonstrations.
Last year, the authorities announced a general amnesty for youths involved in “mild offences”.
But officials later said no-one was spared from prosecution.
“My school had planned a trip to some Indian cities but I had to miss it,” said a boy in school uniform who was among a dozen teenagers present in a Srinagar court on Thursday.
“Policemen have told my parents that I would be arrested if I remained absent during a hearing. And the problem is they don’t give prior dates, it’s almost without notice,” he said.
“Gangsters, burglars and other criminals are let go on bail and they are never sought for attendance in court, but our youth are harassed,” said Mehbooba Begum, who had accompanied her 15-year-old son Mohsin Ahmad to court.
Activists allege the boys are hounded by the state authorities with police frequently summoning them to court. (more…)