After the August 2013 violence in Kishtwar, voices were growing strong to disband Village Defence Committee (VDC) for their ‘notorious’ role. But in recently concluded autumn session of assembly, Government stated that efforts are being made to improve their working across the state for improved command and control.
Responding to a question of Zulkfikar Ali, the government stated there are 49 cases registered relating to misuse of weapons by VDC members.
The government informed the house that in Kishtwar violence two cases involving misuse of weapons by the VDC members have been registered and investigation is going on.
Terming it not advisable to disband VDC’s even in areas where normalcy has been restored, government claims that the objective of VDC is to supplement the ongoing efforts of the security forces and police to deal with militancy, acts of subversion and trans border movements.
The members are provided with rifle 303(all marks) and rifle 7.62 mm bolt action through the district Superintendent of Police. The act in place to issue them weapons is provisions of arms act 1959, arms rules 1962 and the guidelines of the government of India, Ministry of home affairs.
The concept of VDC evolved in 1995 to organize a small group of volunteer armed civilian in the identified villages for providing ‘security’, infrastructure installations in and around them and to check trans border movement.