Jammu: Village Defense Guards (VDGs), made up of local volunteers, have been asked to remain vigilant in view of the upcoming Republic Day celebrations amid fears that subversive elements may disrupt the peaceful atmosphere in this region, officials said on Monday.
VDGs have also been activated along the International Border (IB) in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts, they said.
The development comes following the twin attacks in Dhangri village in Rajouri district in which seven people, including two children, were killed and 11 others injured last week.
The VDGs were directed to remain on high alert in view of the forthcoming Republic Day as there are apprehensions of vitiation of the peaceful atmosphere by anti-national elements, the officials said.
They said the VDGs have been activated in many areas of the Jammu region and fresh weapons and ammunition have been provided to them.
In a briefing session in Kishtwar district, VDGs were directed to ensure surveillance and domination in their respective areas by way of patrolling in consultation and coordination with special police pickets, the officials said.
They were asked to ensure that the areas remain peaceful and effectively thwart the evil designs of anti-social and anti-national elements, the officials added.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has started reissuing weapons to the VDGs, earlier known as Village Defence Committees (VDCs), following the Dhangri incident.
Meanwhile, security forces continued their search operations in Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban districts for second consecutive day on Monday to clear the region of over ground workers (OGWs) and militants, officials said.
In several areas in Kishtwar and Doda, house-to-house searches were conducted, they said.
A search operation in Rajouri district has been going on for the past seven days to trace the terrorists involved in the Dhangri attack, the officials said.