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187 terrorists killed in J&K in 2022: Govt

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‘CRPF trained 948 VDG personnel in Rajouri’

Srinagar: A total of 187 terrorists were killed and 111 counter-terror operations carried out in Jammu and Kashmir in 2022, Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Rai said 125 terrorists initiated incidents and 117 encounters took place in Jammu and Kashmir in 2022.

As many as 180 terrorists were killed and 95 counter-terror operations were carried out in Jammu and Kashmir in 2021, he said, replying to a written question of BJP member Sushil Kumar Modi.

Altogether 100 encounters and 129 terrorists initiated incidents were also reported in the Union Territory in 2021, he said.

Separately, it was also revealed that  27 persons including 25 security personnel and two civilians were killed in militant attacks across Jammu since August 05, 2019.

In a written reply, Nityanand Rai said that a total of 25 security personnel including two from Jammu-one each in 2019 and 2022, two in Rajouri in 2020, five in 2021 and four in 2022, nine in Poonch in 2021, one in Ramban in 2019, one in Kishtwar in 2020 and one in Doda in 2020 were killed in terrorist attacks post-August 05, 2019.

He also said two civilians were killed in the Jammu region, which include one in Rajouri in 2021 and one in Udhampur in 2022.

He further said 48 security personnel have also been injured in terrorist attacks, which include 10 in 2019, four in 2020, 14 in 2021 and 15 in 2022 and 20 civilians have also been injured including one in 2020, nine in 2021 and 19 in 2022.

Replying to another question, the MoS Home said that the Village Defence Group scheme, notified by the Government of J&K in the year 1995, did not envisage the constitution of the Village Defence Committees (VDCs).

However, in terms of this scheme ibid, Village Defence Groups (VDGs) were to be constituted, he said, adding Village Defence Groups, in terms of the scheme of 1995, have already been constituted in the districts of Poonch and Rajouri of the Jammu division “for the protection of villages.”

“As per Village Defence Guards (VDGs) Scheme, notified by the Government of UT of J&K on 14.08.2022, apart from the areas/village already declared as vulnerable areas in the scheme of 1995, any other area/village, which may be considered more vulnerable area by the law enforcement agencies, necessitating application of the scheme ibid to such other area/village, the Government can by an order declare such other area/village as a ‘more vulnerable area’ for the purpose of the scheme,” he said.

He also informed that CRPF is giving arms training to VDG personnel in Rajouri district. “The CRPF has imparted necessary training to 948 VDG members in collaboration with district police Rajouri from January 6, 2023 to January 25, 2023,” he said in a written reply to a question of BJP member Sushil Kumar Modi.

The minister said at present, the sanctioned strength of VDGs is 4,985, of which 4,153 VDGs have been constituted and the Ministry of Home Affairs last year had decided that there would be not more than 15 members in each VDG.

The persons who shall be heading or coordinating the VDGs in the “more vulnerable areas” shall be paid Rs 4,500 per month and the persons who are members of the VDGs on voluntary basis shall be paid a uniform rate of Rs 4,000 per month, he said.

The VDGs shall consist of following categories: those in possession of a valid arms licence and to whom weapons have been provided by the Jammu and Kashmir police, determined by the District Magistrate or Senior Superintendent of Police concerned, keeping in view the credentials of the volunteers’, population of the village, its location and security requirement, persons in possession of valid licence and weapons or willing to purchase weapons on their own, Rai said. (With inputs from PTI, KNO)

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