Security Forces Train Kashmiri Villagers To Combat Infiltration Bids13 June 2010
New Delhi: In a bid to train villagers for self defence against militants, the Army, the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Jammu and Kashmir Police are jointly imparting combat training. The training is being imparted to members of village defence committees (VDCs) in villages near the India-Pakistan border in the R S Pura sector. Over 52 Special Police Officers (SPO) and 32 village defense committee members from Arnia and Bishnah villages are being trained in defense techniques and handling of arms at the Sattuwali Firing Range in R S Pura town. The weeklong joint training programme began on June 12, The training aims at strengthening coordination between civil agencies and armed forces to flush out militants from the region. Officials said involvement of locals with army operations is crucial in curbing infiltration bids. 'We have involved our local formations with our military and paramilitary forces, Border Security Force (BSF) and army to strengthen the local border management. It will enhance local coordination with the BSF, army, and police,' said H. S. Gill, Deputy Superintendent of Police. 'The VDC members will know where the formations are stationed and are being made familiar with their, so that whenever there is a suspicious movement, a VDC member can alert the nearest Army, BSF or police station for fast action,' he added. Over the past few years, local volunteers have willingly come forward to help expose militant hideouts. 'This exercise by the army and BSF has benefited us a lot. We did not have any training earlier but now we are being trained properly. We can bravely face the enemy anytime now,' said Swarn Singh, a VDC member from Arnia. VDC members have been working with the Indian army to provide crucial information and intelligence about militant activities along the international border areas.