Millennium Post

Nod for Bhanu Bhawan to be operational for next 2 years

Nod for Bhanu Bhawan to be operational for next 2 years

Darjeeling: The Darjeeling Sessions Court on Monday has given an extension to the State to operate Gorkha Rang Manch popular as "Bhanu Bhawan" for another two years (till June 30, 2021).

"The Gorkha Rang Manch premises was the place of occurrence of clash between Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters and security forces on Jun 8, 2017. A Sadar Police Station case had been started (124/17 dated 16-6-17.) The Rang Manch was then put under lock and key as per the order of the court. We had put in a petition to make the Manch operational. The honourable court has allowed the Manch to be operational for the next two years," stated Pranay Rai, public prosecutor.

The order states that the previous order for the operation of the Bhawan had expired on June 30, 2019. A submission has been made by the public prosecutor to allow the state to give extension of two years period with effect from June 30, 2019.

The order states "State is at liberty to operate Bhanu Bhawan as per requirement with the condition not to change the nature, character and colour of the building till further order."

The order was welcomed by Anit Thapa, Chairman, GTA. "With the closure of the Ranga Mancha, fine arts and performing arts suffered in the Hills. Last week we had a meeting with the District Magistrate where this issue had been raised by us. We had decided to take the matter forward legally also. We welcome the order of the learned court. We will henceforth use the venue for the promotion of fine arts and performing arts along with official functions. No form of political activities will however be allowed in the Bhawan," stated Anit Thapa.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) under the leadership of Bimal Gurung had locked horns with the security forces on June 8, 2017. The GJM party was on agitation mode in the Hills.

Police reports claim that more than 45 security force personnel were injured in the clash. A police booth was set on fire. Fifteen police vehicles were torched along with a state government bus. Army was deployed in Darjeeling, Ghoom and Kurseong to control the situation.

On that day, GJM had taken out rallies and staged a sit-in demonstration a short distance away from the Raj Bhawan where the State Cabinet meeting was taking place. The Chief Minister was present at that meeting.

Later, the demonstration turned violent and clashes had ensued. The GJM in turn had alleged that many of their supporters were also injured in the clashes.

The police had lodged a suo moto FIR and a case had been started at the Darjeeling Sadar Police Station.

Amitava Banerjee

Amitava Banerjee

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