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Rajnath Singh assures to investigate if any move to shift Gorkha Recruiting Depot out of Darjeeling: Raju Bista


Darjeeling/New Delhi (UNI) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has assured that he would investigate if there was any move from his ministry to shift the Gorkha Recruiting Depot (GRD) and Gorkha Record Office (GRO) out of Darjeeling, according to BJP MP, representing Darjeeling, Raju Bista. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) general secretary Roshan Giri in a letter to Mr Singh recently pointed out on the above two issues and demanded his intervention saying the GRD and GRO have huge sentimental values as well as avenues to the Gorkhas for joining into 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. Mr Bista, who called on Mr Singh in his New Delhi residence on Thursday apprised him of the controversial issues and sought his intervention so that GRD remains at Jalapahar in Darjeeling district. Mr Bista in statement said, “amidst report of the GRD and GRO being shifted out of Darjeeling, and concerned regarding the same shared to us by our alliance partners GJM and GNLF and also other political parties in the region I apprised the matter to Mr Singh and sought his intervention at the earliest.” Mr Bista said the GRD is an important part of the Gorkha heritage and how the Gorkha people relate to it. He also told the Defence minister about the technical significance of having the GRD in Darjeeling and how it has catered to the generations of Gorkha soldiers in the Indian Army. Mr Bista said Mr Singh assured him to investigate the matter at the earliest. “ 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,” Mr Giri said in his letter to Mr Singh. “ 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.

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