Defying terrorists’ threats and Hurriyat’s bandh call, nearly 1,300 Kashmiri youths appeared in the Army’s common entrance exam on Sunday in the Valley, which has been hit by fresh protests following the killing of Hizbul militant Sabzar Bhat.
The entrance exam was conducted at two centres – Srinagar’s Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry Regimental Centre and Baramula’s Pattan Army Camp.
Rebuffing Hurriyat’s Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and JKLF’s Yasin Malik’s call for a complete shutdown in the Valley in protest against Hizbul Mujahideen’s commander Sabzar Bhat’s killing by security forces in South Kashmir’s Tral district on Saturday, candidates turned up for the examination for junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and other ranks.
Earlier this month, around 35,000 terrorists from the Valley alone had taken tests for 698 posts of sub inspectors with J&K police antagonizing the terrorist groups that repeatedly warn Kashmiri youth against joining the security apparatus.
On May 11, terrorists had killed Lt Ummer Fayaz of Rajputana Rifles as a warning to youths who aspire to join the security forces.
Such threats from terrorists and separatists doesn’t seem to have worked, with an Army official saying that 799 out of the 815 registered candidates took the common entrance written examination in Baramulla, while 493 out of 500 candidates wrote the test in Srinagar.
"It is a clear rejection of regressive bandh calls for choosing a brighter future," the official said.
He said 16 of the 815 candidates, who had passed the physical and medicals tests held earlier, did not turn up for the written exam.
Several parts of the Kashmir Valley were on the boil after security forces inflicted heavy damage on militants, killing eight of them, including Bhat, who had succeeded Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani following his killing last July.
Violence erupted yesterday at more than 50 places in the Valley including in Srinagar and Tral as stone-pelting youths were out on streets attacking security forces. Wani's killing had sparked a long spell of unrest in the Valley last year.