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Volunteers seek modernisation

Bongaigaon, Jan. 29: The Assam Village Defence Organisation has called for a modernisation drive, which will bring its volunteers up to the level of state police in terms of training and equipment.

Around 2,000 representatives of various village defence parties from 28 districts of the state arrived here on Tuesday to participate in the 65th foundation day of the Assam Village Defence Organisation, at Chilarai Khtera playground of the Industrial Training Institute here.

Yesterday, the organisation’s adviser Sadik Ahmed demanded the modernisation drive along with setting up of a permanent office in each police station and hike in the remuneration of volunteers.

“Currently, we have been given flashlights, batons, raincoats, overcoats (during winter), umbrellas and a monthly remuneration of Rs 500, which is inadequate,” Ahmed said.

“Hari Narayan Baruah had founded the organisation at Birinasayek near Titabor in Sivsagar district on this day (January 29) in 1948. Since then, this day has been observed as the organisation’s foundation day,” Bongaigaon superintendent of police, Abhijit Bora, said.

According to Bora, there are 19,881 registered and 4,058 unregistered village defence volunteers in Assam.

Assam director-general of police Khagen Sarma, on behalf of chief minister Tarun Gogoi, announced that the remuneration of the volunteers would be increased from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 from the next financial year.

The DGP expressed his desire to include women in the Village Defence Organisation, saying he would soon take initiatives in this regard.

Inspector-general of police Apurba Jiban Baruah spoke about the contributions of the organisation. The superintendents of police of Dhubri, Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon and Barpeta districts were also present at the open session. IG L.R. Bisnoi and DIG (western range) Surinder Kumar also spoke at the session.

A colourful rally was taken out in Bongaigaon town to mark the event.

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