Hundreds Of Youth Turn Up For Police Jobs In Srinagar12 January 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Vindicating the Government stand that unemployment was a major factor for street protests in Kashmir, hundreds of youth today braved bone-chilling cold to line up for a recruitment rally in the heart of Srinagar city to join police, which had been at the receiving end of intense stone-pelting during last summer. The recruitment rally was first of its kind in over a decade in old city of Srinagar, the summer capital of the State. Braving sub-zero temperature, hundreds of youth waited with their qualification certificates for hours in long queues outside a CRPF camp in the city's Khanyar area with a hope to get a job in the State police. 'I am here because of unemployment. I work at a factory on meager wages and want to have a good job and secure future,' said Riyaz Ahmad, who holds a graduate degree in arts stream. The unemployment in Kashmir is on its record high with Government estimating more than five lakh educated unemployed youth in the State. 'The job in police is a lucrative one,' another youth, Fayaz Ahmad, who had covered his face, said. As the unemployment in the State is very high, the massive number of youth turning up for rallies would not surprise many in rest of the country or even in the rural areas of the valley. However, many of these young men had taken part in the recent summer unrest in Kashmir, which left more than 110 persons dead and thousands of others injured. The mood in the city has changed as the youth now want their share in employment opportunities provided by the Police department. 'I am here because I have nothing to do. I completed my Graduation in 2004 and since then I am unemployed,' Sajad Ahmad said. Ahmad admitted that creating more employment opportunities can help in containing stone-pelting but said unemployment was not the reason boys pelt stones. All the youth, who appeared in the recruitment drive, denied to have participated in the stone-pelting but a CRPF constable on guard duty at the camp claimed that he has at least identified 100 youth whom he saw pelting stones in different parts of Srinagar. 'I saw around 100 boys who were stone-pelters and I have seen them (pelting stones) at Nowhatta, Khanyar and near Islamia College,' constable Raj Kumar, who has been posted in Kashmir for last six years, said. Director General of Police, Kuldeep Khoda said the recent agitations in the city had shown that the area had low representation in the Police department. 'The youth of the area can understand the problems in a better way. If they are brought into policing, they can deal with the situation in an effective manner,' Khoda said. The DGP said the special recruitment drive was an effort from the Police department to reach out to the people of the area, which was prone to disturbances. Although on-the-spot recruitment drives have been held in the far flung and district headquarters of the valley almost on annual basis, this is the first such recruitment rally held in Srinagar city in nearly a decade. A senior police officer said a verification process will establish credentials of the boys, who have qualified the tests. 'If there is a criminal case against anyone, he will not be recruited into the force,' IGP, Kashmir, S M Sahai, said. He said 'exact number of the youth who will be recruited will be decided by the response and quality of the people we get'. 'There is nothing unusual in the recruitment drive as we carry it out in the areas which have no representation in Police department,' Sahai said.