Gangtok: With the border conflict in Ladakh, every assembly of Army puts the country into frenzy. Sikkim is no exception. Amidst tension and deployment of Indian Army and state troops along Sikkim’s border with China, the recruitment of porters by the Army in Gangtok has created a furore.
Gangtok is home to various cantonments of the Indian Army, and Defence Area in Libing, a mere 3 km from the hustle and bustle of the state capital, garnered attention on Wednesday morning when large number of people gathered at the Ganju Lama Dwar and also near Defence Auditorium Hall for recruitment of porters.
While the Army denied any connection with the border dispute and recruitment of porters, the porter aspirants, mostly local and all men, said: “It could be for the war against China, they are not telling us what this is for. But every year, this recruitment is carried out, either as porters or as cooks”.
Army officials on the site, however, reassured that the recruitment process was part of a routine exercise and had no connection with the India-China face-off. While they refused to come on record, one of the officials informed that the recruitment was supposed to be conducted earlier, but was postponed because of the lockdown. “Now that we are in Unlock phase, it’s happening now,” said one of the officers on duty.
Another porter aspirant claimed that he has been part of the process before and they are never sent to the borders, assuring that safety on those lines for recruitment is being guaranteed.
Whatever, the intention of Indian Army, the assembly of over 100 porter aspirants has put the state capital into unease.