Practice Relating to Rule 38. Attacks against Cultural Property
At the CDDH, India explained its voted against Article 20 bis
of the draft Additional Protocol II (now Article 16) as follows: “The Indian delegation objects strongly to the reference to any international convention, to which only sovereign States can be Parties, in Protocol II, which will apply to internal armed conflicts.”
The Report on the Practice of India states that in India “there are no specific regulations aimed at protecting cultural objects. Nevertheless, the general protection available under the law for protection of public property of all types, can be extended to cultural objects as well.”
The report points out that the protection ordinarily granted to religious objects is not afforded if such objects are used for terrorist activities. India used armed force in the past against such objects that could not be treated as civilian objects, for example during the military offensive against the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984.