More than 7,000 Kashmiris take exams to join police

Srinagar, March 6 (IANS) More than 7,000 Kashmiri youth across the Valley Saturday took examinations to join the police force.

‘More than 7,000 candidates who had passed the physical tests for selection to the posts of sub-inspector of police sat for the written exams in the Valley,’ Owais Ahmad, inspector general of police, told IANS.

‘Similarly, 6,000 candidates sat for the same exam in the Jammu region,’ he added.

Thronging the various examination centres in the state’s summer capital Srinagar, the candidates were very enthusiastic to join the local police department.

‘It has been my dream to join the police department. The concept of the service has completely changed over the years. If one is sincere and dedicated, he can do a lot for the society being a police officer,’ said Shakeel Ahmed, a candidate who appeared at one of the examination centres here.

The response by the locals to join the police department is a far cry from the early days of violence here in 1990 when Kashmiris would fear even admitting they had relatives or friends in the police force.

‘The uniform has its own dignity and grace. If more and more qualified youth join the police department the ages-old mindset about the police being a ruthless, merciless force would change,’ said Bilal Ahmad, 51, who accompanied his son Arif to one of the examination centres.

However, some of the candidates said they had decided to join the police department as they had no other avenue of employment.

‘I have passed my masters in computer applications and would have liked to join a department where my skills would be put to some better use.

‘Anyway, I must do my best to make it to the selection list,’ said Muzaffar Ahmad, 25.

Asked to comment on Muzaffar’s remark that the knowledge of computers would not have much use in the police department, a senior police officer said: ‘It is strange some candidates don’t have the right notion about the use of computers and information technology in the police department.

‘The state police force is using information technology in every field of its activity and we plan to put every police station in the state online by employing computer technology within the next few years,’ he added.

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