Srinagar: Four days after Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz was kidnapped and shot by Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Shopian district to act as an alert to Kashmiri youths striving to join the security forces, about 2,000 girls and boys from the Valley lined up at Bakshi Stadium here on Saturday.

All of them joined these opportunities when it comes to physical endurance test (PET) and physical standard test (PST) for the post of sub-inspectors in the J&K police.

A variety of terrorist groups has repeatedly warned Kashmiri youths against signing up for the security forces by releasing threatening videos every so often.

However, youths through the Valley not merely overlooked these threats by lining up for posts in J&K police however they far outnumbered their counterparts through the Jammu region.

An overall total of 67,218 candidates has sent applications for 698 posts of sub-inspector.

Of these, 35,722 are from Kashmir while 31,496 from the Jammu region.

With over 6,000 Kashmiri girls turning up for physical tests for recruitment as police sub-inspectors, J&K DGP S P Vaid told TOI: “Dozens of Kashmiri girls broke all the shackles of a conservative society and participated in the recruitment drive.”

Nusrat Jan, an applicant from downtown Srinagar, said she wished to help local women. “We have seen women facing very bad times as a result of militancy in Kashmir, which has to be addressed,” she added.

Mohammad Rafiq Bhat, a science graduate from old Srinagar, said he was conscious that a cop in the Valley had to live under a consistent threat from the terrorists.

“But I am ready to face the menace of militancy. They (militants) are not on the right path and proper treatment is required to treat this disease,” he said.

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Another aspirant, Rubeena Akthar of Srinagar, said she hoped that a job in J&K police would help her “deal with the vices that are ailing our society…in Kashmir”.

“I will be lucky if I get a job in the police. One commands respect in the society,” said aspirant Farzana.

The first phase of the physical endurance and standard tests started on Saturday with applicants from the Valley, a spokesman associated with the J&K police said. The exercise will require place within the other districts subsequently.

This article was originally published by TOI.