The Jammu and Ladakh regions of state of Jammu and Kashmir have at present 27924 Village Defence Committee “volunteers” to supplement the on-going efforts of forces and police to deal with militancy.
Each committee comprises of ten armed personnel who have been allotted guns. The number of total village defence committees in two regions is 4125.
This was revealed by state government in state legislature in a written reply to the question raised by National Conference lawmaker Bashir Ahmad Veeri in the upper house.
The reply said that these 41250 armed personnel have so far “killed or caught 14 militants”.
The militants killed or caught by the armed VDC personnel included five from Kishtwar, four from Rajouri, two from Udhampur, and one each from Samba, Doda and Ramban.
District Doda in Muslim dominated Chenab region where VDCs have so far killed/caught one militant has 875 VDCs followed by district Rajouri which has 630 VDCs.
The district of Ramban, Udhampur, Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Poonch, Kishtwar has 370, 335, 197, 146, 202, 126, 428 VDCs, respectively.
The two districts, Leh and Kargil, of Ladakh region have 12 VDCs.
The village defence committees have been accused of killing innocent civilians and creating communal tension in the areas where these operate and their need has often been question.
The government said that it has no plan to wind up these VDCs “as the circumstances are not feasible.”