Kashmiri youth turn out in record numbers to join army

March 16th, 2012 - 9:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, March 16 (IANS) More than 6,000 enthusiastic Kashmiri youth turned up for recruitment in the Indian Army Friday in south Kashmir and police and army men had a tough time controlling the swelling crowds.

The army held a recruitment rally at the High Ground in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district Friday for the 10 districts of the Valley. The rally started on March 12 and will continue till March 18.

The rally is for recruiting candidates from the districts of the Valley as general duty soldiers, nursing orderlies and other categories.

Brigadier Vinod Raizada, deputy director general (DDG) Recruiting (Punjab and J&K;) visited the rally Friday.

“Selected candidates will not only get a lifetime opportunity to serve the nation in the various arms and services of the army, but will also be able to serve the nation with honour and dignity,” Brigadier Raizada said flagging off the rally.

He also said, “The Indian army is looking to enroll the best and the brightest young men from J&K; state.

“Naturally, the process is merit based, giving a fair and impartial opportunity to all eligible youth. There would be more such rallies to give greater opportunity to all aspirants of J&K; state. The rally is a step by the army to ameliorate the conditions of unemployed youth of the Valley. The huge turnout for recruitment suggests that the army has carved a niche for itself in the hearts and minds of Kashmiris. The youth have realized the importance of the army and are exhibiting keen desire to join it.”

Friday’s rally is a far cry from the days the local youth shied away from joining the security forces in the Valley.

The high turnout at the army recruitment rally was despite the warning by various guerrilla groups to the local youth to keep away from such rallies and not seek jobs with the Indian security forces.

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