India is among a handful of nations that continues to stock cluster bombs, used for carpet bombing.
Cluster munitions have a wide-area effect, which makes them inaccurate when used. Unexploded duds lying around also pose a life-threatening hazard for civilians, long after the conflict.
Swedish arms watchdog Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has warned that progress towards a global ban on cluster munitions stalled in 2012.
The institute that assesses the current state of international security, armaments and disarmament said 212 was a “disappointing year” for attempts to enhance international controls on the use, production, trading and stockpiling of cluster munitions.
Supporters of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) proved unable to persuade any new states to sign the convention.
SPRI says major cluster munitions producers that have not signed or ratified the convention include Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Israel, South Korea, Russia and the United States.
“Several of these states have in the past used cluster munitions. Cluster munitions disperse multiple smaller munitions, some of which can explode months or years later causing civilian casualties,” according to SIPRI.