Army To Raise Three Battalions From J&K Youth
14 March 2004
The Times of India
Srinagar: Until recently, the fear of militants used to prevent young Kashmiri boys from joining the Army but the trend seems to be changing today. The Army has decided to raise three battalions of Jammu and Kashmir light infantry and Kashmir scouts in 2004-2005 to recruit aspirants. While the Centre has raised several territorial army battalions in the state with 5,300 youths already enrolled, some 4662 youth are expected to get jobs in the near future, said a defence spokesman. Rs 146 crore have been disbursed as payment to these companies. Suhail Malik from Budgam in central Kashmir , presently undergoing training in Jammu , said he joined the Army to live a dignified life and support his family. The defence spokesman said, apart from regular Army jobs to the educated youth, the authorities have decided to raise several companies for the uneducated unemployed to work as porters. He said 19, 600 persons worked as porters on a regular pay scale. The spokesman added that the response to join the Army has been so overwhelming that authorities might have to increase the number of posts in coming years. The Army is also recruiting educated women to teach in the 25 Army schools established in separate areas in the Valley.