Kashmir stone-pelters eyeing police job?

Kashmir stone-pelters eyeing police job?

Given the high unemployment rate in the state, the scene would not have attracted much attention but for the fact that many of these youths were believed to have fought pitched battles with police last summer.

This time the police held an on-the-spot recruitment drive, which was mainly confined to residents of Khanyar area in the old city, here.

Khanyar area includes some highly volatile localities where stone-pelters had engaged police and CRPF in running battles during the five-month-long unrest in the Valley last summer.

The youths now want their share in employment in the police department."I am here because I have nothing to do. I completed my graduation in 2004 and since then I am unemployed," said 27-year-old Sajad Ahmad Shah.

He admitted that creation of employment opportunities could help in containing stone-pelting but said unemployment was not the reason behind such an exercise.
"More employment avenues can stop stone-pelting but why stones are pelted is a different issue," Shah said.

Faisal Ahmad, who did not meet the minimum height standard to appear in the recruitment drive, said he had come because he wanted a secure job."There is an advantage with it (police), you get a proper pay," he said adding "I work as a daily-wager in a furniture workshop and the amount I earn is not enough to sustain my family."

All the youths, who appeared in the recruitment drive, denied have participated in the stone-pelting but a CRPF jawan on duty at the camp claimed he had identified at least 100 youths who had indulged in stone-pelting in different parts of the city.
"I saw around 100 boys who were stone-pelters and I have seen them (hurling stones) at Nowhatta, Khanyar and near Islamia College," said constable Raj Kumar, posted in Kashmir for the past six years.