‘It is alarming and has dangerous consequences for overall amity in the villages’.
Srinagar: After BJP leader from Jammu Sunil Sharma thanked Prime Minister Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for giving the green light to the revival of VDCs, regional political parties in Kashmir have reacted by saying that the revival of these committees shows that all the claims of normalcy by Union Government about Jammu and Kashmir are a farce.
PAGD spokesman and CPIM leader Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami, while reacting to the decision of the Union government to revive these village committees, said that it is alarming and has dangerous consequences for the overall amity in the villages. He said that when such committees start operating in the villages, it will prove counter-productive. Regional political parties of Kashmir have many reasons to oppose revival of such committees as in the past they were disbanded after they faced allegations of gross abuses in J&K.
There were serious allegations against the VDC members in different villages of Jammu division and according to media reports, 200 cases against VDC members for rape and murder etc. are pending in courts and different police stations.
Reports said that the Union Home Ministry has decided to revive VDCs and they will be renamed as Village Defence Groups (VDGs). Sunil Sharma has uploaded his pictures with the Union Home Minister as he met him on Wednesday and got the green light for these committees. He said on twitter that the Union Home Minister has taken the decision to revive these committees in the hilly areas of Jammu region, especially because of the coming Assembly elections so that there is no terrorist violence in these areas during such exercise.
“Met with Hon’ble Home Minister AmitShah in New Delhi & discussed the issues of VDCs & Dhok Defence Committees (DDC’s). While apprising, briefed about the demands of these committees. HM gave a patient hearing to all the demands and took swift decisions regarding same on the spot,” he tweeted.
With the go ahead signal, groups of residents in Jammu division would be enrolled for local defence before the Union Territory’s delimitation process starts is the indication being given by the local BJP leaders here. The Union Home Ministry will allow these groups to operate with weapons in those hilly areas where there is very little presence of police because of the tough terrain. These VDGs will comprise 8 to 10 people having the same pay scale and their monthly salary would be credited to their accounts by the government every month, a senior BJP leader from Jammu said. Most of these committees operated in the early 1990s in the villages of Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban and parts of the Pir Panjal range like Rajouri and Poonch, and Chenab valley and they helped the security forces in many operations. Local BJP leaders indicated that these groups will operate in some hilly areas of Kashmir valley also, but such villages have not been identified in public or to the media due to security reasons.