Terror shadow on recruitment
Aloke TikkuUpdated: Sep 21, 2006 04:24 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offered Jammu and Kashmir youth jobs in paramilitary forces as part of his reconstruction plan. Seven hundred jobs are still on offer in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), but there are no takers for them.
Terror threats to families of fresh recruits in the CRPF and a stern warning to others is discouraging enough for the youth to sign up. Adding to the problems are the discrepancies in the rules drafted in Delhi and the ground situation in the troubled state.
The CRPF had recruited nearly 3,500 men last year under a special recruitment drive. Soon after, militants started threatning the employees.
Militants from outfits like the Hizbul Mujahideen started meeting families of fresh recruits in their native villages to ask the jawans to withdraw from the force. In January this year, the outfit also released advertisements in local newspapers warning Kashmiri youth against joining the central forces. They would be "liable to death", it said.
A senior CRPF official said they had planned to fill 1,500 vacancies this year but managed to find people for only half the number of vacancies. "That too with great difficulty," the official serving in J&K - who did not want to be named - said, admitting that the threats did appear to have scared the people.
In fact, he said, eight men who had joined last year expressed their intention to quit due to threats. Two of them eventually did, unable to bear the pressure from their family members.