CRPF To Give Arms Training To VDG Members In Jammu Areas

File photo of members of village defence committee aiming at targets during training.

New Delhi- The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will provide weapons training to village defence committee guards or VDCs in Jammu and Kashmir so that they are able to better counter a militant attack, officials said on Monday.

The “final contours” of the training schedule, variety of arms to be included and number of participants will be decided in due course of time, they said.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has recently started reissuing weapons to village defence guards (VDGs), earlier known as village defence committees (VDCs), following the Dhangri incident in Rajouri district in which seven people were killed. The VDGs comprise local village volunteers.

“The CRPF will provide weapons training to the village defence guards so that they can act as a line of defence in case of a terrorist attack. The modalities of this new proposal are still being planned,” a senior CRPF officer said.

The volunteers will also be trained in basic physical combat exercise, if required, he said.

The development comes following the twin terror attacks in Dhangri village in Rajouri district last week, in which seven people, including two children, were killed and 11 others injured.

A high-level panel of security and administration officials have also decided to deploy 18 fresh companies of the CRPF, comprising about 1,800 personnel, in Rajouri and Poonch for strengthening the security grid following this attack.

The force, as per the officer, may also be asked to render a variety of internal security duties in the Jammu region keeping in mind the emerging terror challenges and the much-anticipated elections in Jammu and Kashmir, which was bifurcated into Union territories following the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.

VDGs Asked To Remain Alert In View Of R-Day

VDGs made up of local volunteers, have been asked to remain vigilant in view of the upcoming Republic Day celebrations amid fears that militants may disrupt the peaceful atmosphere in this region, officials said on Monday.

VDGs have also been activated along the International Border (IB) in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts, they said.

The development comes following the twin militant attacks in Dhangri village in Rajouri district in which seven people, including two children, were killed and 11 others injured last week.

The VDGs were directed to remain on high alert in view of the forthcoming Republic Day as there are apprehensions of vitiation of the peaceful atmosphere by anti-national elements, the officials said.

They said the VDGs have been activated in many areas of the Jammu region and fresh weapons and ammunition have been provided to them.

In a briefing session in Kishtwar district, VDGs were directed to ensure surveillance and domination in their respective areas by way of patrolling in consultation and coordination with special police pickets, the officials said.

They were asked to ensure that the areas remain peaceful and effectively thwart the evil designs of anti-social and anti-national elements, the officials added.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has started reissuing weapons to the VDGs, earlier known as Village Defence Committees (VDCs), following the Dhangri incident.

Over 2,000 CRPF personnel have been deployed for security of minority places in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, the officials said.

Meanwhile, security forces continued their search operations in Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban districts for a second consecutive day on Monday to clear the region of overground workers (OGWs) and militants, officials said.

In several areas in Kishtwar and Doda, house-to-house searches were conducted, they said.

A search operation in Rajouri district has been going on for the past seven days to trace the militants involved in the Dhangri attack, the officials said.

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