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J&K Govt launches Village Defense Guards scheme to maintain Security in Terror-Racked Region

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Aug 16, 2022 11:06 AM

Read Time: 3 minute

In order to implement the Village Defense Guards system in the union territory, the government of Jammu and Kashmir has issued an official statement.

After receiving clearance from the Union Home Ministry, which amended and altered the previous scheme in March, the implementation process has been started. The programme will go into effect on August 15.

The UT government's official statement also provided information about the programme. “The members of the Village Defence Group shall be designated as Village Defence Guard (VDG)," the home ministry said in a communication to the J&K government in March. “In more vulnerable areas, persons (V1 category) who shall be leading/ coordinating the VDG would be paid of Rs. 4500/- per month and other persons (V2 category) who are members of these VDGs on voluntary basis will be paid a uniform rate Rs. 4000/- per month. VDGs will function under the direction of SP/SSP of the concerned District."

Each Village Defence Group will operate under the oversight and guidance of the SP/SSP of the relevant district, according to the official message of the government of Jammu and Kashmir released this month. Similar to this, each Village Defense Group will be directed/coordinated by a member of the V1 category, who will also be permitted to use the police wireless network to send and receive messages related to their mission statement.

Each guard will receive about Rs 4,000 in monthly compensation.

According to the J&K government, the Village Defence Guards scheme is intended to inculcate an attitude of self-protection in security matters amongst the local population and also to supplement the ongoing efforts of the security forces in dealing with the acts of subversion and trans-border movement. “It is a manifestation of the will of the people to actively and voluntarily participate in the efforts to thwart the nefarious designs of the anti-national elements and to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of the nation," a government document says.

What is the scheme?

The Village Defence Groups established in accordance with the government order have successfully over the years ensured the safety and security of the identified vulnerable villages and supplemented the efforts of the security forces in maintaining internal security, according to the Jammu and Kashmir government in its communication. “Keeping in view the security scenario prevailing in the Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir, more specifically, in the areas where the earlier Scheme was in operation, a need has been felt to revise the existing Scheme with a view to prevent the incidents of terrorist acts inspired and supported from across the border and to boost the security grid in the Union territory," an official communication of the J&K government said.

The aim

The Village Defence Guards (VDGs) scheme, according to the government, aims to organise a small group of volunteer armed civilians in identified villages along the borders as well as in-depth areas of the Jammu division, in order to instil a sense of self-protection and ensure the safety and security of such villages, infrastructure installations in and around them, and to check trans-border movement. “Under the Scheme, the Village Defence Guards shall be charged with the responsibility of protecting community installations and infrastructure facilities within the defined areas of their village and the Village Defence Guards would conduct night and day patrolling in a systematic manner," the communication says.

Also Read: Jammu and Kashmir: Math teacher innovated an affordable luxury solar car and given Valley its 1st solar car

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