VDC members undergo ''special'' training in Samba

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Jammu, Jun 21 (UNI) In a bid to strengthen security in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir following a fierce gun battle between security forces and militants on May 11, the civil administration has constituted 19 Village Defence Committees(VDC) and the members are getting ''special'' training to combat terrorism.

''All 114 people preferably the ex-servicemen have been inducted in the 19 committees (6 members each) that have been constituted after Kaili Mandi encounter,'' Deputy Commissioner, Samba Sourav Bhagat told UNI.

''The VDC members comprised of ex-servicemen are undergoing two-week ''special'' training of handling weapon besides cooperating security forces during insurgency operations and have been provided with 0.303 rifles,'' Mr Bhagat said.

''All the members have voluntarily agreed to constitute committees as they are not being paid for their services except two members in each committee, who are being considered as special police officers (SPOs) and getting Rs 3200 each,'' the Deputy Commissioner added.

Mr Bhagat said out of 19, VDCs in 11 committees had attained expertise during ''special'' training sessions and were performing duties in different areas of Samba district including Kaili Mandi, Surgali Mandi, Garh Mandi, Flora Mandi, Gurha Slathia and Tejinder Singh Pura.

''Rest of the members in eight committees are still undergoing training and once they completely achieve specialisation, they will also be deployed in different localities of the town to act as watchdogs,'' Mr Bhagat added.

Taking precautionary measures and learning lessons from the Kaili Mandi encounter wherein six people including a photo journalist were killed, the Samba Civil Administration had imposed night curfew on the bordering belts of the district from 2000 hrs to 0500 hrs and banned sale of combat dresses while vendors had been directed to get their shops registered.

UNI VBH SW RR KP1456

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