A delegation of Gorkha representatives, including RB Rai from CPRM, Mann Ghising from GNLF, Darjeeling MLA Neeraj Zimba, Kurseong MLA BP Bajgain and Kalyan Dewan from BJP and Darjeeling MP Raju Bista met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss various issues concerning the region and issues relating to the recruitment of Gorkha youth in the defence services.
“We thanked the Minister for granting educational relaxation for the Gorkha youth. In turn, we highlighted that the online recruitment system still requires 33 per cent. We have requested the Minister to kindly get the system updated so that all those who have passed their Madhyamik exams are eligible to apply, irrespective of their percentage of marks scored,” Darjeeling MP Raju Bista said in a statement.
The delegation appraised the Defence Minister about the rich legacy and history of GRD Jalapahar and requested him to give more opportunities for the youth from Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars in the Army.
“We also highlighted how currently the relaxations for Gorkha youth are only given to those from GTA region in some branches of armed forces. So we have requested him to kindly extend these relaxations for all Gorkha youth from Terai, Dooars and the rest of India,” said Darjeeling MP Raju Bista.
Given the number of confrontations concerning Army and locals villagers for the access to cantonment roads, the delegation requested the Minister to develop a conflict resolution mechanism that will allow peaceful resolution of all such issues, while keeping the national security as a top priority.
“Given the inordinate delay in the establishment of Sainik School in Darjeeling, due to the denial by the West Bengal government to sign the Memorandum of Understanding, we have requested the Minister for his intervention and requested him to take up this issue with the Bengal government,” Darjeeling MP Raju Bista.
Meanwhile, the Defence Minister acknowledged the stellar role Gorkhas have played in nation building and has assured the delegation that he will take necessary action to address the issues.