Jammu: In the wake of two back-to-back terror attacks that killed seven persons in Jammu, village defence guards have received arms and are getting trained to take on the Islamic terrorists.
The CRPF is training them as Village Defence Guards (VDGs). The earlier name of these committees was Village Defence Committees (VDCs). After the attacks in the residential areas, the villagers have expressed their anger. They asked the authorities to give them arms for security of their families.
Following this the authorities have handed over the self-loading rifles (SLRs) to ex-servicemen. Authorities have also given arms to civilians from villages in the Jammu region. Now the CRPF have started giving training to villagers to defend themselves. They are now patrolling at night and keeping an eye even during the day.
Administration had the VDGs and trained them in Rajouri-Poonch areas at the time of heightened terrorism threat in 1990s. Now, due to worsening conditions in Jammu, govt is taking similar measures. Armed forces are training civilians fro self defence against Islamic terror attacks on Hindus. Besides, self-defence, VDGs ensured that Hindus did not become refugees due to terrorist activities.
Besides villagers, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jammu and Kashmir had also called revival of village guards system. Especially following targeted killings of Hindus in Rajouri. Following which, J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh took action. They declared that the administration will revive and upgrade VDGs.
It was a dreaded new year for Hindus here as on January 1, terrorists opened fire at houses in Rajouri’s Dhangri village killing five persons. The mayhem did not stop here as next morning two a boy and a girl child, who were cousins, died after an improvised explosive device (IED) planed outside their houses by militants exploded.
After the attack, BJP leader and former MLC Vibodh Gupta had alleged that 60 per cent of the guns of VDCs have been taken back. Thus, the J and K administration decided to not to take back guns and instead arm more guards by upgrading the unit.