Srinagar, Mar 5: Over 240 fresh recruits were today inducted into Army's Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) regiment at a passing out parade here with a top Army officer expressing satisfaction over the turn out of locals in the recruitment rallies.
The recruits, hailing from different parts of the state, were inducted into the regiment after 11 months rigorous training in various activities including tactics, firing, physical fitness and mental robustness, at the Rangreth regimental centre on the outskirts of the city.
"This was the 103rd recruit course of the JAKLI Regiment Centre and a total of 242 recruits participated in the parade and became brave-hearts of Indian Army and the regiment," General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lt Gen Satish Dua said.
Lt Gen Dua, who took over as the Colonel of the JAKLI Regiment last month, said the number of local youth joining the Army has been "definitely" increasing. Last year two Territorial Army battalions were raised here and in Jammu which was not there earlier, he said.
Referring to the recruitment drives, Dua said, "Last year, I recall a newspaper clipping, the headline said more than 20,000 youth turned up for 55 vacancies in a particular rally. So that is the kind of response we are seeing." "All I can say that the response to recruitment in the Army in different regiments is very enthusiastic," he said.
"I am from JAKLI, I can tell you that when these young soldiers join any regiment they are no less, they are better than the best. In Kashmir region alone, we have approximately 300 soldiers who have been awarded gallantry awards," Dua said.
Earlier, addressing the recruits, the Commander said he was feeling great and honoured after watching the wonderful parade and congratulated the recruits, the regiment, their trainers and organisers of the parade.
He asked the fresh recruits to maintain the highest standards set out by the regiment and work with dedication and devotion to take the name of the regiment to new heights. "Today is a very important day for all of you.
You have become brave-hearts in the Indian Army and JAKLI regiment... We are proud of the history of the regiment.
"Not only for bravery, our regiment stands tall for religious oneness and brotherhood where the people of all the religions work together and 'Mandir, Masjid and Gurdwara' (temple, mosque and Gurdwara) are under one roof in each unit," he said. "You have stepped in this regiment and now you have to maintain its tradition and further it," the GOC said.