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VILLAGE DEFENCE COMMITTEESS

Why in news?

Recently, Lieutenant Governor of the Jammu and Kashmir declared to revive Village Defence Committees (VDC) amid recent militant attacks.

About Village Defence Committees:

  • The VDCs were first formed in the erstwhile Doda district (now Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban districts) in mid 1990s as a force multiplier against militant attacks.
  • The then Jammu and Kashmir administration decided to provide residents of remote hilly villages with weapons and give them arms training to defend themselves.
  • The VDCs have now been renamed as Village Defence Guards (VDG).
  • The new scheme to set up VDGs in vulnerable areas of J&K was approved by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in March last year.
  • Like a VDC member, each VDG will be provided a gun and 100 rounds of ammunition.
  • Both VDG and VDC is a group of civilians provided guns and ammunition to tackle militants in case of attack until the arrival of security forces.
  • Under the new scheme, the persons leading the VDGs will be paid Rs 4,500 per month by the government, while others will get Rs 4,000 each.
  • In the VDCs, only the Special Police Officers (SPOs) leading them were provided a remuneration, of Rs 1,500 monthly.
  • The SPOs, the lowest rank in the J&K Police, used to be retired army, para military or police personnel.
  • A minimum of 10-15 ex-servicemen, ex-policemen and able-bodied local youth were enrolled in each VDC on a voluntary basis.
  • On an average, at least five of them were provided .303 rifles and 100 rounds each, through the district Superintendent of Police.
  • The allotment of weapons could go up depending on the credentials of the volunteers, total population of a village and its security requirements, as assessed by the district magistrate and SSP concerned.

 

 

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-politics/what-are-village-defence-committees-which-jk-locals-want-revived-8363980/