SRINAGAR: Despite registration of 221 cases including murder cases against the Village Defence Committee (VDC) members, Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday said it has no plans to disband the VDCs, which was formed in parts of Jammu province to fight militants after eruption of militancy in the State.
“Keeping in view the security situation obtaining in the State and the role played by the VDCs, there is no proposal to disband them,” the government informed J&K Legislative Assembly today in a written response to a question by opposition National Conference legislator Ali Mohammad Sagar.
Sagar wanted to know whether government intends to disband the VDCs in view of the increasing massive human rights violations like murder, rape, rioting and misuse of the alloted weapons by the members of the VDCs.
The government, however, said working of the VDCs is under regular review and all possible efforts are being made to improve their working.
It admitted that 221 cases have been registered against the VDC members by police. Of these 23 are murder cases, 7 rape cases and 15 rioting cases.
The government said of the 221 registered cases, 205 have been challaned, 7 are under investigation and in four cases inquest proceedings have been completed.
“Of the 205 challaned cases, 121 are under trial, 5 convicted and 42 acquitted. There was also compromise in 37 cases”, it disclosed.
On another query raised by NC legislator Mubarak Gul about the steps taken to check the atrocities being committed by the VDC men, the government informed the Assembly that as and when any VDC member is found involved in any kind of criminal act, he is immediately disengaged and appropriate action as warranted under law is initiated against him.
“The directions have been issued to the District SPs to initiate action against the erring VDC members and, ensure that the weapons allotted to them are withdrawn and deposited in the Kots,” the government said.
The VDCs were formed in parts of Jammu after 1995 to fight militants after eruption of militancy in the State. The VDCs were setup by police by arming volunteers to counter the militants.
The mainstream politicians and separatist leaders have been alleging that VDCs have unleashed a reign of terror in Muslim belts of Jammu region. They have been demanding the disbanding of VDCs.