800 Kashmiri youths defy bandh call to appear for Army exam
Defying the separatists' bandh call, nearly 800 Kashmiri youths on Sunday appeared in the Army's common entrance exam in the Valley, which has been hit by fresh protests following the killing of Hizbul militant Sabzar Bhat.
Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in many parts of the Valley to maintain law and order in the wake of violence sparked by Bhat's killing and the two-day shutdown called by separatist conglomerate the Hurriyat Conference.
An Army official said 799 candidates appeared on Sunday in the common entrance examination for selection of junior commissioned officers and other ranks held at Pattan and Srinagar.
"It is a clear rejection of regressive bandh calls for choosing a brighter future," the official said.
He said 16 of the 815 candidates, who had passed the physical and medicals tests held earlier, did not turn up for the written exam.
Several parts of the Kashmir Valley were on the boil after security forces inflicted heavy damage on militants, killing eight of them, including Bhat, who had succeeded Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani following his killing last July.
Violence erupted on Saturday at more than 50 places in the Valley including in Srinagar and Tral as stone-pelting youths were out on streets attacking security forces.
Wani's killing had sparked a long spell of unrest in the Valley last year.