August 2018 News

'If Every Kashmiri Youth Is Alienated, Why Hundreds Joining Army'

20 August 2018
Greater Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: A top army officer Monday said every Kashmiri youth was not alienated as hundreds of them were participating in the Army recruitment rallies. He also said that the situation on the borders was well under control and that the stone pelting incidents were at an all time low. 'It is true that some of our children who are misguided have chosen a wrong path and have joined militancy. But if everybody is alienated in Kashmir, why do such a huge number of youth from J&K join army,' Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff (CIDS), lieutenant general Satish Dua told reporters on the sidelines of a passing out parade at Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) regimental training centre at Rangreth on the city outskirts here. At least 215 new recruits completed their vigorous 11-month long training at the JAKLI and were inducted in the army after a passing out-cum attestation parade at the regimental centre. The army officer said that there are also youth in Kashmir who aspire to join army. 'That can be gauged by the army recruitment rallies where against 100 odd posts, hundreds could be seen in queues,' said Dua, a former General officer Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar based army's 15 Corps headquarters. 'We hope that those who have joined militancy would return to the mainstream soon'. In Kashmir, especially in the southern districts, militant recruitment has shown a steep rise after the killing of young militant commander BurhanWani in July 2016. According to the figures released by the ministry of home affairs, 82 youth have joined various militant groups in the first six months of this year. In 2017, 128 youth had picked up arms while as 220 were killed including 15 top commanders under operation all out. Replying to a query, as to whether infiltration has risen on the LoC, Dua said that though he can't talk much about the LoC, but the overall situation in Kashmir was 'well under control.' 'Infiltration is low and so is the stone pelting. Overall situation is under control as compared to previous years,' he said. Earlier, addressing the new recruits, the CIDS said that it is after 11 months of hard work that today 215 youth from various parts of the state have been inducted into the JAKLI. 'Now all 215 are soldiers of one regiment. The beauty of JAKLI is that soldiers of every religion operated under one regiment and they pray under one roof where we have temples, Gurduwaras and Masjids side by side,' he said. Dua, who is colonel of the JAKLI as well, said that JAKLI was actually formed in 1947 when Kashmir was raided. 'Earlier it was known as JK militia. In 1972, this force was given a name of JAKLI,' he said. He said JAKLI soldiers have taken part in toughest operations that include Siachen, Doklam and LoC. 'They have always kept the flag of their regiment high,' he said. 'Today, I felicitate your trainers. The way they have trained you makes me feel proud.' Meanwhile, defence spokesman in Srinagar, Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that an affiliation ceremony between JAKLI regiment and Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kochi also took place at the regimental centre. 'The ceremony was attended by vice admiral GirishLuthra, the flag officer commanding in chief western Naval command,' he said. Colonel Kalia said that to foster greater understanding of each other's combat potential and to inculcate a greater synergy and bonhomie, 51 Squardon Air force has now been affiliated with the JAKLI. Present on the occasion was, GoC 15 corps Lt General AK Bhat, Rear Admiral M A Hampiholi, Flag officer commanding-in-chief Western Naval Fleet and air vice marshal Sanjay Nimesh.