Village Defense Committees on LoC Demand Government Compensation

Rajouri, Members of the Village Defense Committee (VDC) from villages along the Line of Control in the Lam/Jhangar area of Nowshera in Rajouri district have staged a protest demanding timely payment of their wages.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the VDC members are instrumental in maintaining security in these high-risk areas. They protect local families from potential threats posed by militants and play a crucial role in preventing the smuggling of arms, ammunition, and narcotics across the border.

Formed to secure vital infrastructure and monitor cross-border movements, VDCs are equipped with intimate knowledge of local terrain, languages, and community dynamics, which aids the armed forces in counter-terrorism efforts. Their responsibilities include safeguarding infrastructure, conducting surveillance, and curbing illegal drug trafficking.

The protest comes in the wake of an incident a few days prior, where VDC members apprehended three smugglers with a heroin consignment in the Sehar Makri area of Nowshera, subsequently handing them over to local police and army units. The demonstrators have emphasized the necessity for the government to provide not only salaries but also additional support and facilities to manage their duties effectively.

Participants expressed concerns over their safety, highlighting that their proximity to the Line of Control increases their risk, especially given the local involvement in the illegal drug trade. They argue that their critical role in regional security justifies fair compensation and better support from the government.

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