With reports of the youth joining militancy pouring in from parts of the state, chief minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday asked armed militants "to shun the path of gun and adopt other modes to register their protest."
"The culture of gun has been ruining the state for the past 25 years and that the militants should find a different way to fight for their rights," he said, while inaugurating a medical facility in Srinagar.
The 16 youth, many of them educated, have joined the ranks of militants in Kashmir this year. The government is also alarmed by a Kashmir youth joining the Iraq-based ISIS to join the jehad in Syria as reported by the Hindustan Times.
"The militants should shun violence. Instead, they should choose other ways to register their protest and to fight for their rights," he said.
This is a rare appeal made by the chief minister asking youth to adopt to other means of protest.