Four days after Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz was abducted and shot by Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Shopian district to serve as a warning to Kashmiri youths aspiring to join the security forces, about 2,000 boys and girls from the Valley lined up at Bakshi Stadium here on Saturday.
All of them had come for the physical endurance test (PET) and physical standard test (PST) for the post of sub-inspectors in J&K police.
Various terrorist groups have repeatedly warned Kashmiri youths against joining the security forces by issuing threatening videos from time to time.
However, youths from the Valley not only ignored these threats by lining up for posts in J&K police but they far outnumbered their counterparts from the Jammu region. A total of 67,218 candidates have applied for 698 posts of sub-inspector.
A police spokesman said 67,218 candidates from various districts of the state have applied for the posts of 698 sub-inspectors in the executive, armed and telecommunication wings of the state police. “While 31,496 of these candidates are from Jammu province, as many as 35,722 hail from Kashmir. As many as 64,625 candidates – consisting of 58,584 males and 6,041 females – have applied for positions in the executive/armed police wing. Around 2,530 candidates applied for the positions in the telecommunication wing,” he added.
Of them, 35,722 are from Kashmir while 31,496 from the Jammu region.
With over 6,000 Kashmiri girls turning up for physical tests for recruitment as police sub-inspectors, J&K DGP S P Vaid told TOI: “Dozens of Kashmiri girls broke all the shackles of a conservative society and participated in the recruitment drive.”
Nusrat Jan, a candidate from downtown Srinagar, said she wanted to help local women. “I have seen women facing very bad times due to militancy in Kashmir, which needs to be addressed,” she added.
Mohammad Rafiq Bhat, a science graduate from old Srinagar, said he was aware that a cop in the Valley had to live under a constant threat from the terrorists.
“But I am ready to face the menace of militancy. They (militants) are not on the right path and proper treatment is required to treat this disease,” he said.
Another aspirant, Rubeena Akthar of Srinagar, said she hoped that a job in J&K police would help her “deal with the vices that are ailing our society…in Kashmir”.
“I will be lucky if I get a job in the police. One commands respect in the society,” said aspirant Farzana.
The first phase of the physical endurance and standard tests started on Saturday with applicants from the Valley, a spokesman of the J&K police said. The exercise will take place in the other districts subsequently.