All Manipur Village Defence (VDF) Welfare Association has thanked the government for increasing the monthly remuneration of VDF volunteers up to Rs. 7, 000 from Rs. 5, 000.
The government made its order of increasing the remuneration which stated of increasing its salary to Rs. 6, 000 and ration money of Rs. 1,000.
The VDF welfare association has withdrawn its cease work strike which was cautioned to launch today after they got the order of the revised salary.
The VDF, which is under the state police, had been demanding an increase in its honorarium to Rs 10,000 and 13 months’ pay as provided to the state police. They had also demanded that they should not be assigned duties on Sundays and general holidays if the demand for 13 months’ pay is not accepted.
They have demanded adequate facilities be extended to them and a separate battalion for the VDF personnel headed by a superintendent of police.
M. Rameshor, publicity secretary of the VDF welfare association representing the VDF volunteers thanked the government authorities and media persons. He said, we are happy at the increase of our salary, but the honorarium increased is not matched with the present scenario and we hope the government will increase to the satisfaction.
He also appealed the government to give priority to the VDF volunteers whenever state takes up recruitment of state forces.
VDF was first raised in 2008 as a defence volunteer force by the Okram Ibobi Singh government to protect Heirok village in Thoubal district from militants. The members of the force were initially called special police officers and the name was changed to VDF later on.
Subsequently, the government increased the strength of the force to 10,500 and members of the force have been deployed in all the nine districts to assist the state police in maintaining law and order and tackling militancy.
Initially, a sum of Rs 3,000 each was given as honorarium to the members per month later it was raised to Rs 5,000.