Special Correspondent

Warning comes in the wake of large-scale recruitment to Central forces

Hundreds of youth have joined in the past two yearsThreat won't deter anyone: CRPF chief"Normality not possible without the help of locals"

SRINAGAR: The Hizb-ul Mujahideen has warned Kashmiri youth against joining the Central forces including the Army.

The houses of those who join the forces and their families "will be locked and they will be asked leave the Kashmir Valley." Their property would be confiscated and they were liable to death. "There is no chasm between our words and deeds," said the militant outfit in a newspaper advertisement, asking Kashmiris not to join the Army, the Central Reserve Police Force, the Border Security Force and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

The advertisement, appearing in local papers for the past few days, comes in the wake of large-scale recruitment in the past few months.

"A conspiracy"

Terming the recruitment drive "part of a conspiracy to goad Kashmiri youth", the Hizb said "this will lead to civil war in Kashmir and the freedom struggle goes into the background, so we have decided to foil these attempts."

In the past two years hundreds of Kashmiri youth have joined various forces. Last year the CRPF recruited a record number of 3,700 youths from the State in a special drive. Its Inspector-General, A. P. Maheshwari,

told The Hindu : "I do not think such threats will deter anybody and we are recruiting 1,300 more the in coming months." There was no report of dropout following the threat.

"We are here for the security of the people and we believe it is not possible to bring normality without the involvement of people," he said.

In the Army 500 youths were recruited last year from among 5000 applicants.

Fewer in BSF

The number of recruitments in the BSF was, however, small at 100. "We will start the recruitment soon after winter ends," said a BSF official.

The Hizb has banned the recruitment in the India Reserve Police as well. It is the armed wing of the Jammu and Kashmir police. In a recent drive over 1,000 youths from the State were appointed in the IRP.

"We received thousands of applications but the vacancies are limited and we are under pressure to recruit more and more people," said a senior police official.