Monday, November 29, 1999

VDC, Army launch joint operations to flush out militants in J-K

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Poonch (Jammu and Kashmir), May 16 (ANI): Eyeing upon flushing out militants from the region, the member-volunteers of civil Village Defence Committee (VDC) have joined hands with the Army personnel in launching coordinated search operations in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch region.The VDC member-volunteers after being trained in the handling of arms have come forward to lend a helping hand in busting the hideouts of militants. The first such operation was conducted in the hilly tracts of Kaka Kulali in Poonch district.The volunteers, who were given training to participate in search operations and to defend themselves, are also keeping a vigil in their neighbourhood.Major General KAS Bhullar, General Officer Commanding, Romeo Force, Poonch Sector, said the involvement of locals in such operations is crucial."You know that our physical presence is very less in this area. We were able to wipe out militants only because of help of locals and members of VDC," said Major General Bhullar.Both the men and women members of VDC in the Kaka Kulali area, who have been working with the Army since 2002, provide them with crucial information and intelligence."Yes, we picked up guns to protect our self-respect and for the protection of our village. The militants were very cruel. So, we had to pick up guns to protect ourselves," said Maneera Begum, a lady member of the VDC.Earlier on May 11, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah admitted that the graph of militancy has risen in the region as compared to the last year.The Chief Minister attributed several reasons for this rise in the militancy while asserting that the security personnel are alert to counter the threats posed by militants."As compared to last year, the graph of militancy has increased this year, but this is because we are [now] getting intelligence inputs about their presence and we are trying to catch them," said Omar Abdullah."Last year, we used to wait for them but now we have planned that we will not wait for their action. Whenever we will get actionable intelligence we will launch our operations," he added. (ANI)

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