Discontent brewing in Darjeeling Hills over Gorkha Recruiting Centre
West Bengal

Discontent brewing in Darjeeling Hills over Gorkha Recruiting Centre

Agency News

Darjeeling, Jun 26 : Fresh resentment is brewing in volatile hills of Darjeeling over the reported move of the defence ministry to shut the Gorkha Recruiting Depot and Gorkha Record Office at Jalapahar in West Bengal's Darjeeling district.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) general secretary Roshan Giri in a letter to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh pointed out on the above two issues and demanded his intervention saying the duo has huge sentimental values as well as avenues to the Gorkhas for joining the Indian Military services. " From reliable sources, I have come to know that the Ministry of Defence/Army Headquarters has decided to shut down the Gorkha Recruiting Depot and Gorkha Record Office based at Jalapahar in Darjeeling. This news has left the entire Gorkha community and people from region feeling let down by your Ministry, " the letter of Mr Giri dated June 25 stated.

" The Gorkha Recruiting Depot (GRD) in Jalapahar is one of the oldest military installations in our country. Ever since a standing Gorkha regiment was formed in the Indian Army, GRD, Jalapahar has been one of its mainstays in providing new recruits who have served the regiment and our nation gloriously," the letter added. " Moreover, the Gorkha Record Office provides service to a large number of current serving soldiers and also ex-servicemen who live in the region. It also opens up opportunities for employment to retired soldiers. Shutting down of this office, will not only cause unnecessary hassle to our soldiers, but will also deprive them of re-employment opportunity which they so richly deserve," it added .

" Darjeeling is home to the largest per-capita serving and retired soldiers in a district in India. Because of which, all of us have deep emotional ties to GRD, for us it is not just an army institution, but it is also a part of our proud and glorious heritage and we will not let our heritage be so easily shifted or shut down," Mr Giri added. Mr Giri in his letter also urged the defence minister to reconsider shifting out the GRD and GRO from Darjeeling and avoid widespread public outrage and protests. The GJM is the ally of BJP as the Gorkha support ensured the win of BJP candidate Raju Bista from Darjeeling. (UNI)