Kashmiris sign up for police after protests SRINAGAR, India â€” Hundreds of young men Wednesday braved freezing temperatures in Indian Kashmir to attend a police recruitment rally aimed at attracting disaffected young people involved in protests last year. The restive Muslim-majority region was rocked by violent demonstrations against Indian rule over the summer months that left an estimated 114 people dead, mostly in firing by police and paramilitary forces. New Delhi has since promised to address local grievances and sent a fact-finding mission to the Himalayan region, where unemployment is high and many remain bitter over the handling of the protests by the authorities. Some young people admitted to having participated in the protests, while others said they simply saw a police job as a promising career in a violence-wracked region that depends on tourism. The inspector general of police in Kashmir, S.M. Sahai, said that the protesters, known as "stone-pelters" in India due to their favoured technique for attacking the police, were welcome to join the ranks. "We find it (stone-pelting) repeatedly happening. We should understand that young people are always inclined to be anti-establishment. We cannot hold it against them," he said. "So if they are not seriously involved in any criminal activity, they are most welcome," the senior police officer said. Many of the applicants covered their faces for fear of reprisals. Insurgents fighting Indian rule in Kashmir have targeted police and government officials for more than 20 years. A total of 47,000 people have died in the violence, according to official figures. "A job in the police is a lucrative one," one youth Fayaz Ahmad, who had covered his face, told AFP. "Kashmir is a political issue and needs a political solution," he said, admitting that he was part of the protests in the past. "But you have to do something for a living and a police job is the best available opportunity."