Fulfill demands of VDGs at the earliest: Basant Raj Thakur

Basant Raj Thakur said that the VDG members are doing great service to the nation and the people of their areas. They have lost their precious lives while performing their duties. Their contribution in fighting terrorism in remote, far- flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir UT has been splendid.

Jammu, May 01: Killing of Village Defence Guard (VDG) member Mohammed Sharief in Basantgarh area of Udhampur district, by terrorists is very unfortunate and most inhuman act and the culprits should be identified and punished. This demand was made by Basant Raj Thakur, Convenor J&K UT, BJP, VDG Cell, while addressing a press conference at party headquarters, Trikuta Nagar, Jammu, on Wednesday.

Basant Raj Thakur said that the VDG members are doing great service to the nation and the people of their areas. They have lost their precious lives while performing their duties. Their contribution in fighting terrorism in remote, far- flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir UT has been splendid.

Basant Raj Thakur said that the VDG members have been facing number of problems in their areas of operations and have been making repeated representations for getting their demands fulfilled so that they can perform their task more effectively and help local police and other forces while undertaking anti-insurgency operations.

Basant Raj Thakur said that the VDGs have genuine demands which need to be considered sympathetically and fulfilled immediately. He shared that the VDG members are being posted out of their villages to other areas, which is against the spirit of the constitution of these bodies. He said that the VDGs are performing their duties with the old 303 rifles, which are not capable to respond to the modern weapons of the terrorists.

Thakur said that the government should stop the ongoing practice of posting the VDG members out of their villages; they should be equipped with the modern rifles like those of J&K police. The VDG members should be given relief at par with police constables.

The honorarium of the VDGs should be enhanced to ten thousand, the unpaid VDGs be given regular honorarium, the rifles of the retired members should be transformed to their family members.

Basant Raj Thakur further said that the files pertaining to recruiting VDG members on retirement of older members are lying in the office of the district police headquarters, and should be cleared without any delay.

Later, Basant Raj Thakur and VDG Cell office bearers paid tributes to Mohammed Sharief, who was killed by militants.

VDG Cell office bearers Ramesh Katoch, Narinder Kotwal, Rajesh Sharma, Hardeep Manhas, Ravinder Manhas, Uttam Chand, Sukhdev, Ashok Kumar, Surjeet, Sudesh Fouji, were also present in the press conference.

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