- "It's important to get training like this," Kishan said. "The army and the police gave me training more than 20 years ago.
- Many villagers have asked the local government for new permits to carry weapons.
After terrorist attacks on January 1 and 2 in Dhangri village, Rajouri, the training on how to use arms began. In Rajouri and Poonch districts, there are still as many as 19 CRPF companies with about 1,900 people.
The Central Reserve Police Force has taught at least 1,400 civilians in border villages in Rajouri and Poonch districts in Jammu how to use guns in the last three months, officials said. They said that the people living there had at least 115 guns and enough bullets.
After terrorist attacks on January 1 and 2 in Dhangri village, Rajouri, the training on how to use arms began. In Rajouri and Poonch districts, there are still as many as 19 CRPF companies with about 1,900 people. The people who did it are still out there.
This is not the first time that security agencies in the troubled area have given civilians weapons. In the 1990s, there were village defense committees that were later broken up. Last year, these groups were brought back. They are now called “village defense groups” (VDGs), and they help people in villages near the border with Pakistan protect themselves from terrorist attacks.
After the attack on Dhangri village by terrorists, the CRPF started teaching the villagers how to use weapons within a few days. Some of them now have self-loading rifles instead of the old ones that they used to have. The first VDGs were given.303 rifles.
“This is a process that never ends. “We have trained more than 1,400 villagers who are part of the VDGs,” a CRPF officer said, asking not to be named. “The people who are being trained are former police officers and soldiers. The training was given so that they would know what to do if their villages were attacked suddenly.”
He made it clear that security forces have not been cut. “This is a way to protect myself,” he said.
On January 1, terrorists broke into three homes in Dhangri and shot at random, killing four civilians and hurting one more. The next day, a bomb went off in front of a different house, killing two children. On January 8, a girl who had been hurt died from her injuries. This brought the total number of deaths to seven.
During the attack on the New Year, Bal Kishan, a local resident and former member of the VDG, ran outside and fired his.303 rifle. The lieutenant governor later gave him a good word.
“It’s important to get training like this,” Kishan said. “The army and the police gave me training more than 20 years ago. I need to go back to school to learn how to use the new weapons. Officials say that our training will take place next month.”
The village chief of Dhangri, Dheeraj Kumar Sharma, said that the Jammu police have given at least 115 rifles to the village. Sharma said, “The weapons were given out with enough ammunition.” “The CRPF does this training all the time. But what we want is for the people who did the attack to be caught.”
Many villagers have asked the local government for new permits to carry weapons. Rajesh Gupta, president of Vishva Hindu Parishad, Jammu and Kashmir unit, who led the group asking for arms licenses and training for village residents, said, “Our main demand of new arms licenses, especially for people from the minority community, is still pending.”
“On January 18, the order that stopped district magistrates from giving out new gun licenses was lifted, but there were still some checks and balances in place. But the local government hasn’t done anything about it yet.”