Shah announces revival of VDCs under new name of VDGs, Group to have 8-10 Guards

BJP leader Sunil Sharma and others submitting memorandum to Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Tuesday.
BJP leader Sunil Sharma and others submitting memorandum to Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Tuesday.

SPOs not to be attached, all members will be paid now

All vacancies being filled, more to come up if required

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Mar 1: In a major decision aimed at revival and strengthening of the Village Defence Committees (VDCs), which existed mainly in Jammu region, Union Home Minister Amit Shah today announced that all VDCs will be revived and more would be set up as per requirements, their nomenclature will be changed and every member will be paid.
“The Village Defence Committees will now be called the Village Defence Groups (VDGs) and their members as Village Defence Group Guards (VDGGs). Each VDG will have eight to 10 members and all of them will have equal rank,” Shah said in his meeting with the BJP leader and VDC members.
This and other assurances pertaining to the VDCs were given by Shah to the VDC members who met him in New Delhi this evening led by BJP UT general secretary Sunil Sharma under the directions of party president Ravinder Raina.
Shah is reported to have assured the delegation that the MHA will issue an order shortly regarding revival of the VDCs by renaming them as VDGs and all the members will be paid honorarium by the Government instead of the previous arrangement in which one or two Special Police Officers (SPOs) were attached with each VDC and their remuneration were shared by all.
Each VDG will have eight to 10 members depending on the requirement and all of them will have equal rank. They will be paid equal remuneration every month by the Government which will be directly credited to their accounts, Shah assured the delegation.
Present system of one or two SPOs being posted with VDCs for payment to all members will be immediately discontinued, the VDC members quoted Shah as having assured them.
They said the Union Home Minister also announced that the non-existent VDCs will be immediately revived and vacancies arising out of deaths of the members or having quit due to lack of payment or other reasons will also be filled shortly.
“An order to this effect will be issued by the Union Home Ministry and a direction will also go to the Jammu and Kashmir Government for implementation of new nomenclature,” they said.
Acknowledging role of the VDCs since their constitution in nineties in tackling militancy, the Home Minister is reported to have assured the delegation that no VDC will be disbanded and rather more will be set up in the area wherever required.
BJP president Ravinder Raina during his visits to Doda, Kishtwar and other districts of Jammu region had repeatedly been taking up the issue of VDCs assuring them that they will continue to function and issue of their remunerations will be addressed.
It may be mentioned here that many VDC members had quit as they were without any payment for quite long time now and the administration was also not showing any major concern towards them.
In the nineties, the VDCs were set up for defence of the people living in far-flung and remote areas when the militancy was at its peak and they had defended the people bravely from many militant attacks.
The VDCs were instrumental in killing a large number of militants. Led by Sunil Sharma, the delegation comprised Thakur Basant Raj, Narinder Kotwal, Mohan Lal, Uttam Chand, Suresh Kumar, Prateek Kumar, Chuni Lal, Amar Chand and Joginder Kumar.

Details of VDC SPOs/Members of Jammu Zone
Sanctioned Constituted SPOs Paid Unpaid Members
Kishtwar 450 412 786 305 107 2571
Doda 1050 875 1546 642 233 5156
Jammu 140 197 205 149 48 863
Poonch 250 125 0 0 125 1506
Reasi 724 628 196 196 432 5612
Udhampur 474 335 294 194 141 1811
Samba 202 202 338 128 74 780
Rajoui 700 683 0 0 683 5174
Kathua 500 326 409 180 146 1174
Ramban 400 370 156 66 304 2868
Total 4890 4153 3930 1860 2293 27515