The Centre has cleared a proposal for Jammu and Kashmir to raise five regiments of special forces in what is described as an effort to give employment opportunities to the state’s youths.

Described as ‘India Reserve (IR) battalions’, these will provide employment to nearly 1,000 and will be raised by the state government, said a senior government official. The move is also seen as a confidence building measures after 41 days of unrest in the Kashmir valley. The home ministry is learnt to have sanctioned Rs 270 crore to the J&K government for this purpose.

The Centre will not only help raise these battalions, but also provide salary for all those employed for the first year as a special concession to the state government, the official said. As per the arrangement, 75% of the cost will be borne by the home minister and 25% by the state government. A senior ministry official told ET: “The battalions once raised will remain with the state government who can use them to manage law and order and other duties.” The MHA has also urged the state government to give proper representations to all parts of the state while recruiting to the battalions.

The current cycle of violence in Jammu and Kashmir that started with the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8 has resulted in the death of more than 60 people and injuries to thousands.

Source: ET