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 militant 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 militant 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 militancy related 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.
The J&K Government has asked the VDGs to remain vigilant in view of the upcoming Republic Day celebrations, amid fears that militants may disrupt the peaceful atmosphere in the Jammu region, officials said. VDGs have also been activated along the India-Pakistan International Border (IB) in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts, they said.