Army imparts weapon training to girls in Jammu and Kashmir

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Bhaderwah (J-K), May 20 : The picturesque Bhaderwah valley in the remote hills of Jammu and Kashmir's Doda District is these days reverberating with the sound of the gunshots being fired by the young girls who are being trained in the use of the AK 47.

The training is being imparted by the Army who has organised a three-day camp to counter militancy in the state.

Army officials said that the exercise is aimed at making girls capable of self-defense and to build a relationship between the Army and the students.

"This practical training will bring them closer to the army. The state, I feel is already in a state of normalcy. But with this training in self defense, I believe, peace would be restored in the region completely," said Colonel Paramjeet Singh, an army official.

The young girls are excited and overjoyed at the unconventional training being imparted to them.

The training has also removed the fear of militants instilled in the minds of the people.

"Earlier, we used to be really scared of the firing shots, but now that we have learnt how to handle the guns. We are more confident. It has uprooted the fear from our minds," said Durga Padha, a participant.

The Army has trained over 30 girl students from various schools so far. They are getting acquainted with guns, weapons and night vision devices.

Residents say the sounds that used to scare them away, do not disturb them any longer. They said that with the girls learning how to fire and handle the weapons has imparted a sense of confidence in them.

"They have handed over the weapons to these girls. We used to hide ourselves in our houses and rooms earlier. We used to huddle in a corner when we used to hear these sounds. Now, our daughters have these guns in their hands and the army is helping them. They are determined to overcome the fear and fight the menace of terrorism," said Atiqa Akhter, a schoolteacher.

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