Editorial

Reactivation Of VDG In Kashmir In 3.5 Years After Abolition Of Article 370

The Government of India is again implementing the plan to arm thousands of villagers in Kashmir. 

Once these people were armed and entrusted with the responsibility of protecting their respective areas. 

Then this remedy did not proved effective. Now this step is being taken after the recent killing of seven civilians in the Valley. 

Earlier this month, seven civilians were killed in the Valley. It was then reported that the authorities have decided to rebuild a security network of common people. 

Under this, Village Defense Guards (VDG) have been reactivated in about 26 thousand villagers, which had become inactive in the last few years. 

This time many people are also being given automatic rifles. How effective will this plan be? 

This will become clear later. But the move to hand over weapons to the locals in the border districts belies the government’s claim that the situation is normal in the area. 

This situation is three and a half years after the abolition of Article 370 related to Kashmir.

Significantly, the militants attacked in Rajouri of Jammu and Kashmir on January 1. Four people from the Hindu community were killed and seven were injured in the incident. 

The firing was done at three different houses. Hindu families living in the valley have been repeatedly attacked in the last year. 

In December, Minister of State for Home Nityananda Rai told the Rajya Sabha that nine Kashmiri Pandits had died in the three years between 2020 and 2022. Among the dead were several Kashmiri Pandits who were among the 56 employees working in the Valley under the Prime Minister’s Development Package. 

Under the Prime Minister’s Development Package, these 56 Kashmiri Pandits were settled in the valley and given work there. 

It is part of the Indian government’s efforts to bring back Kashmiri Pandit families who had fled the state in the 1990s due to the fear of terrorism. That fear persists even today. 

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