गाव संरक्षण दल
1. It is now a well settled fact with the increasing population there is an increase in crime, illicit activities, minor and major disputes in the society. Rising unemployment, poverty and frustration among masses give rise to rising tension everywhere. In a number of districts in Maharashtra thefts, robberies and dacoities keep taking place. Similarly a number of incidences of dacoits / robbers striking at the jewellary shops have also been observed in many part of the State. Illicit activities and disputes of all nature have always been a part of majority of villages in the state of Maharashtra. Natural calamities like floods, landslides etc. keep striking one part or the other of the State every now and then. While the Police officers and men are trying their best to prevent and tackle all such problems, the large population and number of villages to be catered, especially in rural areas, makes it difficult for them to satisfactorily perform their duties. One of the main reason for this is shortage of man-power and lack of intelligence with the police at district and police station level. Many a times citizen complained that police do not reach the village in time whenever a crime or a calamity occurs. While this may be true in certain cases, many a times the distance from the police station to the village is too far to reach in time. In such a scenario it has now become essential to augment the strength of existing police force and also strengthening its intelligence network. One of the ways towards achieving these goals is formation of Village Defence Parties ( V.D.Ps.) or Gram Rakshak Dals in every village of the district. As per section 63 of the Bombay Police Act 1951, Superintendent of Police has been empowered to constitute voluntary bodies called V.D.Ps.for the protection of the persons, security of the properties and safety in villages. Also, as per Sec.63 ( b ) (7) the members so constituted will discharge such duties as may be determined by the S.P. As per Bombay Police Manual Vol.III, Rule 508, members of V.D.Ps. can also be used for patrolling, fighting natural calamities and most importantly for intelligence collection. Thus once recruited and trained V.D.Ps.members can really strengthen existing police force not only in terms of man-power to assist, but also in defense against the robbers, dacoits, fighting natural calamities, night patrolling and intelligence collection of all sorts, especially with regard to illicit activities like bootlegging, gambling ,drug peddling etc. in the villages.
2. In rural areas, many a times, minor disputes are taking place for various reasons. Sometimes these disputes result in serious offences like rioting and even murders. V.D.P. members can play an important role in resolving these disputes by immediately informing the police about the disputes and giving factual information. \
3. In last two months, in Nashik ( Rural ) district, V.D.Ps.have been established in 1810 out of 1850 villages in the district. Roughly around 24000 citizens have been primarily recruited as members of V.D.Ps.in the district. One day training programme of these members is also being conducted . So far more than 12,000 V.D.P. members have been imparted one day training programme that incorporates self protection, lathi and whistle training, patrolling etc. along with some basic inputs in Law and Police functioning. They are also being trained to collect intelligence especially with regard to crime, criminals and illicit activities and in fighting natural calamities like floods, earthquakes etc. In another months time all the remaining members would be imparted this one day basic training programme. It is also expected that another 10,000 people would be joining V.D.Ps ( including women ) in next one month, after which roughly 35,000 people would be ready to assist the Nashik ( R ) police in its functioning.
4. While the V.D.P. members do not get any monetary remuneration the very fact that they get a recognition as member of the V.D.P.acts a motivating factor. As per the Bombay Police Act, the members of V.D.P., when called formally to discharge a duty, become entitled to all the powers and protection given to a police officer. This again is a great motivating factor. Similarly, the child-hood dream of many citizens to join ′uniformed services′ gets partially fulfilled into this.
5. It is planned to provide each member with an identification batch, lathi and a whistle to begin with. In future, they may also be provided with some kind of uniform ( say fluorescence jacket ).
6. In a few incidences that occurred recently in the district ,it was observed that the V.D.P.members took part in search and combing operations even at night with full enthusiasm. Thus, it is firmly belived that with proper training and motivation, these V.D.Ps.would be of great assistance to the entire police force in prevention and detection of crimes, intelligence gathering ,fighting against illicit activities, and also in resolving minor disputes in the villages.