VDF to launch Arms down strike

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Imphal: All Manipur VDF (Village Defence Force) Welfare Association has decided to launch Arms Down Pen Down strike on Tuesday demanding to increase their monthly honorarium.

The decision to launch the cease work strike agitation was taken during a meeting held by the central committee of the VDF welfare association on Monday, as the recent state Cabinet meeting did not discuss over the demand of the defence force.

The welfare association urges all its members to unitedly take up strike.

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The strike will begin at 6 pm of Tuesday, a press release by the association said.

The association has been demanding the government to increase their monthly honorarium to 75 percent of the Manipur police constables salary. It also demands to furnish 13 month pay and establish a seperate battalion for VDF.

VDF is a security force that had organised its first recruitment rally in March 2009 in four valley districts – Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishnupur – to voluntarily defend villages from militants attacks.

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At present, as claimed by the association, the VDF volunteers have been utilised like the police in tackling law and order issues in the state.

Initially, an honorarium of Rs 3,000, along with Rs 570 as ration money, was provided to the personnel each month. At present the honorarium is Rs 7, 500.

There are VDF 10,050 volunteers in the state.

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