Press Trust of india

Cordon and search operation on in Rajouri villages, VDCs re-activated

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Rajouri/Jammu: A massive combing operation is going on for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday in Rajouri district to hunt down terrorists involved in the twin attack in which six people were killed in Dhangri hamlet.

Authorities also re-activated the village defence committee (VDCs) by providing members with new ammunition of .303 rifles “to strengthen the self-defence set up” in the border district.

A cordon and search operation (CASO) is going on in various villages and forest areas in the district, the officials said.

They said sniffer dogs, metal detectors and at some places drones are also being used during the operation in in-depth areas.

A special camp for VDC members of the Dhangri village in Rajouri was held by police on Thursday wherein members of defence committees were provided with new ammunition of .303 rifles which were cleaned and repaired, they said.

Organised at the government higher secondary school at Dhangri, special weapon trainers and handlers of police further educated the VDC members about various measures of security and weapon handling.

This step was taken to reactivate VDCs in remote and mountainous belts in the wake of the twin attacks.

There has been a demand by villagers of the Rajouri district for strengthening of these committees with people asking for the provision of new weapons to people besides proper maintenance and repair of existing ones.

There are more than six dozen VDC members in Dhangri village where terrorists carried out a deadly attack on Sunday evening in which four people from a minority community lost their lives and six others sustained injuries.

In an IED blast on Monday, two children were killed and nine were injured.

VDC members of the village demonstrated proper use of weapons to the committee members. The working condition of these weapons was also checked. Police also issued new ammunition to these members. They were also taught weapon cleaning practices, they said.

Ashok Kumar, who is a VDC member for the last 22 years, said that VDCs should be strengthened in every possible manner as they play a pivotal role in the fight against terrorism.

He further demanded the issuance of new weapons to those villagers who are retired from the army and other security forces who are trained in weapon handling and firing.

In the village Prodi Brahamana, 12 VDC members, including a woman, took up weapons for the security of their village.

“We are ready to take on terrorists if they dare to come to this side. We will eliminate them”, a female VDC member said while the rest of them raised the “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” slogans.

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