Kashmir’s students have hit the headlines for another reason, as pen and paper replace the stones that the Valley’s youth are increasingly being identified with.

The news that 14 Jammu and Kashmir students—one of them a head constable’s son—have cleared the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) civil services examination was greeted with elation and congratulatory messages for the successful candidates.

32-years-old Bilal Mohidin who hails from Haripora Unisoo village in North Kashmir’s Langate area, bagged the 10th position. This was Bilal's fourth attempt for UPSC.

“I was hopeful, but couldn’t believe it when I was told that I had come 10th. Besides my parents, the credit also goes to my wife, who is an officer in the Karnataka Administrative Service,” Mohidin told The Indian Express.

Other Achievers:

Appreciation and applaudes

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti took to Facebook to congratulate the candidates:

Former CM Omar Abdullah also congratulated them through a tweet

Director general of state police (DGP) S.P. Vaid sent a special message to Suhail, while he wished each successful candidate from the state a bright future, a police spokesman said. 

The success of the 14 candidates comes at a time of acute unrest in the valley, with students taking to the streets, mostly in protest against alleged excesses by security forces.

According to reports, last year, 12 candidates from the state passed the UPSC Civil Services examination.