About Village Defence Groups (VDGs)-
- Earlier, VDGs were called village defence committees (VDCs).
- The VDCs were constituted in 1995 in 10 districts of the Jammu region to fight militants in far-off places and around 26,567 locals were recruited into them.
- Most of the VDCs were disbanded by the previous governments following allegations of misuse of weapons in several cases.
- With this approval, the Union government will re-establish VDCs in Jammu to fight militancy, provide hi-tech weapons and ensure equal salary to its members.
- The members of the VDGs will be designated as Village Defence Guards.
- Earlier, only three members of a VDC were given the salary of a special police officer (SPO), who would then distribute the salary among other members.
- In more vulnerable areas, the order stated that persons (VI category) who shall be leading/ coordinating the VDG would be paid Rs. 4,500 per month and other persons (V2 category) who are members of these VDGs on a voluntary basis will be paid a uniform rate of Rs. 4,000 per month.
- The VDCs play a significant part in assisting the forces in counter-terrorism operations, maintaining vigil over inimical elements and assisting in maintaining peace.