WION Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Oct 12, 2019, 04.40 PM
Ieshan Bashir Wani
Over 2,000 youth from three districts of south Kashmir turned up on the first day of Indian army recruitment drive in Srinagar on Saturday.
The youth who applied for around 110 vacancies included boys from terrorism prone areas.
Since morning, long queues were seen outside JKLI Regimental centre Srinagar where Jammu and Kashmir police were deployed to help the Indian army manage the crowd. Some youth said that they spent their night in rented cars, outside the army centre to get in first.
Among the youth is Haseeb Bashir, a resident of Kulgam, who lost his father in a terror attack Srigufwara in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district in 1995, when terrorism was on its peak in the state.
“Like my father died for the country, I want to serve too. I never saw my father and I could just study till 10th standard as I had to run my family which includes two sisters and mother,” said Haseeb adding that his father was associated with 3 Rashtriya Rifles, a counter-insurgency force operating in Jammu and Kashmir.
Most of the youth also say that they want to join the army due to unemployment and lack of opportunities in the valley.
“I am also afraid due to the situation but because we don’t have work, so I want to ask other unemployed youth to join the army,” says Umar, who didn’t wish to disclose his village or district, fearing a backlash.
The Indian army says that they are overwhelmed by the response of south Kashmir youth.
“We carried out same recruitment in 2016 and 2017 and usually we wouldn’t get more then 800 candidates. Today, more than 2000 candidates have come in,” said RR Singh, who was overlooking the recruitment rally.
The rally for the recruitment into 162 infantry battalion will continue till October 21 and numbers are expected to grow.
The youth who applied for around 110 vacancies included boys from terrorism prone areas