Rajouri, July 25: Security forces have started holding interactive sessions with the Village Defence Committee (VDC) members in rural areas to refresh their military skills and strengthen this civil layer of security apparatus.
The development comes after a sudden rise in militancy and repeated information regarding the presence of suspected militants in some villages of Rajouri after which Cordon and Search Operations were also going on.
VDCs were setup in rural areas of Rajouri and Poonch around two decades ago when militancy was at its peak and civilians, mostly young men, without any criminal background were given weapons after training of shooting.
The VDCs played a vital role on anti-militancy front and acted as an additional security cover in villages in addition to the security apparatus comprising security forces.
Meanwhile, in wake of the recent incidents of militancy in Rajouri district and especially after regular intelligence as well as civil inputs regarding the movement and presence of some suspected militants in the area, forces have started to refresh VDCs in rural areas, especially near the Line of Control (LoC) in Nowshera sector with an aim to revamp their firing skills, weapon skills as well as to strengthen the relation between VDCs and forces for better communication during anti-militancy operations. In a similar move, Army organised an interactive workshop with VDC members of Kalal village located close to the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district.
An infiltration attempt also took place in the area on 8 July in which a militant was gunned down in Ashwini Gap area by the Army. In this interactive session organised by Kalal Army battalion, the members of VDC displayed their training prowess and skills in weapon's handling.
The Army unit assisted all the members of VDC in further improving their self-defence capabilities and laid emphasis on the role of VDCs.
On this occasion, a lecture-cum-demonstration on weapon handling and cleaning, musketry, firing positions and minor repairs of weapons was conducted as part of the workshop with VDC members appreciating and applauding the support provided by Army in all spheres.
Speaking on the occasion, Sarpanch of village Kalal underlined the importance of such meetings not only to enhance the bond between the Army and the civilians but also to boost the morale of the villagers which in turn assist in maintaining peace and harmony in the region.
A total of 50 VDC members were present during the interaction with senior officers of the civil administration, and Police were also part of this workshop.