<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When militants killed 22-year-old army officer Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz in May, little did they realize that their actions will only strengthen the resolve of the Kashmiri youth to serve the motherland by joining the Indian army.Militants had abducted Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz, of the Rajputana Riffles from his maternal uncle’s home in Batpora village of South Kashmir’s Shopian district, where he had gone to attend cousin’s wedding on May 10.Lieutenant Fayaz, who was unarmed and had come home on leave, was taken to the neighboring Harmain village, where he was shot dead. Hailing from the Sadsun village of Kulgam district, his assassination had shocked the entire nation, since the officer was unarmed and commissioned in the Army just a few months ago. Six months on, thousands of youth swarmed the army recruitment rally in Kupwara to don the olive greens and defend the motherland against the inimical elements in the strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir.Army’s Recruitment Rally commenced on November 15 at Panzgam garrison for the candidates of the border districts of Kupwara and Bandipora in North Kashmir.“An overwhelming response was visible among the locals of the remote border district as youths in thousands turned up for participating in various tests conducted for enrollment into Indian Army”, said an army spokesman at Srinagar. The rally which is being conducted from November 15 to 23 will test the candidates for their physical standards and other ground tests followed by an aptitude test and medical examination. A candidate has to clear all these tests and examination with high standards so as to get a seat in the final merit list. “Candidates were seen to be highly motivated and over-exuberant as they braved out the winter and came in thousands for the early morning run. The huge turnout of youth is a clear indicator that they pay no heed to the calls given by inimical element and want to be part of elite Indian Army and participate in nation building”, said the spokesman.This is the second time in four months when Kashmiri youth have defied odds to join the Indian army. More than 3000 youth from Jammu and Kashmir appeared for the written exam for the selection of officers in the Territorial Army in July. Of whom, more than 800 youth hailed from the restive Kashmir valley alone, a figure which is almost double than the previous year.