Revival Of VDCs As VDGs To Boost Security Grid: J&K BJP

Members of Village Defence Committees | File Photo

Jammu- The Jammu and Kashmir BJP on Wednesday said the revival of village defence committees (VDCs) as village defence groups (VDGs) will ensure their financial empowerment, besides boosting the security grid in the Union territory.

The party demanded that VDGs should be equipped with modern weapons so that they can give a befitting reply to terrorists in mountainous and remote areas.

"The revival of VDCs by renaming them VDGs and considering other genuine demands, including financial empowerment, will boost Jammu and Kashmir's security grid," state BJP general secretary Sunil Sharma told reporters here.

Sharma, who hails from terrorist-hit Kishtwar district, said there was a time when terrorism was at its peak and innocent people were being killed mercilessly.

"People from hilly and far-flung areas were migrating to safer places. BJP leaders, particularly Atal Behari Vajpayee and L K Advani, launched the 'Doda Bachao Andolan' and raised their voice for the constitution of VDCs in 1990s. Their struggle culminated in setting up of VDCs in all the 10 districts of Jammu province with arms to counter terrorism," the former minister added.

Sharma claimed that once in an interview, a terrorist had admitted that he was most scared of the VDCs.

He said that despite the important role played by the committees, their salary distribution system was not streamlined and some members did not get their salaries.

"Many VDCs are now non-functional or disbanded. Many VDC members had submitted their resignations and deposited weapons, so that they could avail benefits under the BPL category," he added.

Sharma said J&K BJP chief Ravinder Raina had consistently taken up the cause of VDCs at different levels.

He said now that the Union Home Ministry has revived the committees as village defence groups (VDGs), it will go a long way in meeting the genuine demands of their members who will be entitled to one rank and equal salary that will directly be transferred into their accounts.

He also stressed on the need to equip them with modern weapons to give a befitting reply to any terrorist attack in the future.

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