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Kashmiri youth ‘radicalised by online propaganda’: Army Chief

New Delhi, Dec 6: Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat Wednesday said that various militant outfits have been trying to “radicalise the youths in Kashmir valley by using different means including online propaganda”.

Rawat was addressing girl students from Jammu and Kashmir to work hard and compete for Army’s ‘Super 30’ coaching programme and build their career through good education.

He was interacting with 18 girl students from various schools in the Valley, at the South Block here. “There is no other place like Kashmir when it comes to scenic beauty and a sublime environment. But, militancy has vitiated the atmosphere,” he said.

“Unlike Kashmir, you do not see bunkers in Delhi or gun-toting security personnel everywhere. People roam here at night in peace. The Kashmir Valley also had peace and people in Srinagar even used to go for strolling in parks at night or for a movie, but it’s not there anymore,” he said.

The Chief of the Army Staff motivated them to work hard and contribute actively in the nation-building process. He also exhorted them to join the Indian Armed Forces and serve the cause of the Nation.

In his address, Gen Rawat reiterated that “infiltrators come from Pakistan to our side and create trouble”. “So, if you also want progress and development in the Valley, take this message from here, and tell the people there that guns are not good,” he said.

During the interaction, Gen Rawat asked the students as to what they wanted to become in life. Some replied saying they aspired to become civil servants or police officers or doctors, while only a single student said she wanted to be a teacher.

“Only way to do well in life is to work hard. Some people may be very sharp, but still (there is) no substitute for hard work. I want students like you to become engineers and doctors and teachers and then go back to your places and villages and serve the people there,” he said.

Rawat told them that the Army runs “Kashmir Super-30” — a free, special coaching programme for students to prepare them for entrance examinations for admission to IITs and NITs. “We are working with NGOs to have a similar programme for medical examination aspirants. So, work hard, compete for ‘Super 30’ for an engineering career, and for NEET exam too, once we have it in place,” he said.

The Army had earlier this year signed an MoU with a state-run firm and the National Integrity Educational Development Organisation (NIEDO) for medical aspirants, under which selected students will be provided with free residential coaching for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

The students, ranging from class 7-11 arrived here on Monday and have visited the Red Fort, Rajghat and Connaught Place market in Delhi, and will see the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah and take a Metro ride before heading to Chandigarh, an official accompanying them said.