Over 67,000 candidates applied for 698 sub-inspector posts in a police recruitment drive that was launched from Srinagar on Saturday, officials said.
The numbers are significant in the light of the growing confrontation between Kashmiri youth and security forces across the Valley since Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s encounter killing in July last year. Students from various schools and colleges in Kashmir have repeatedly clashed with law-enforcement agencies following an alleged incident of police high-handedness at the Pulwama Degree College on April 15.
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.
The process was launched with physical endurance and physical standard tests of around 2,000 candidates at the Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar.
Last year, at least 25,000 youngsters had applied for jobs as special police officers – which initially draw a monthly salary of Rs 6,000 – despite ongoing pro-freedom agitations.
Experts said dearth of jobs and security of government employment are the two factors that drive Kashmiri youth, despite their “pro-freedom” sentiments, into the police and Army. This paradox is indicative of the ethical-practical dilemma of an average person in the Valley, they say.
Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti told mediapersons on Saturday that Jammu and Kashmir has over 15 lakh unemployed youth.