Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Sunday demanded stern punishment for the government-constituted village defence committee (VDC) members, who, according to him, were involved in the gangrape of a minor girl in Batakoot village of Kishtwar.
"The time has come to disband VDCs immediately so as to protect people from their wrath," Mirwaiz said, while delivering a sermon at Masjid Rehmat in Srinagar Lal Bazaar locality.
Terming the recent Kishtwar gangrape incident as "shameful" and "aggression against the chastity of Kashmiri woman", he said, "It was not the first time the VDC members were found involved in such criminal acts. Earlier also, several of them have been found committing crimes against common masses."
Mirwaiz alleged: "Communal thinking was attached to the very foundation of VDC as an institution."
"It is important to disband the VDC to protect people from their oppression," he said.
He said their (VDC) brutality and aggression against common people was no less than the infamous special operations group (SOG).
"Hence we demand these committees to be disbanded immediately," Mirwaiz added.