NGO to take over CPM office

Statesman News Service
DARJEELING, Aug 4: A non-government organisation has decided to take over the CPI-M party office at Upper Judge Bazaar in Darjeeling. The decision comes after the Darjeeling Municipality received complaints that various anti-social activities were being carried out in the CPI-M officie.
The development comes after an 11- member committee that oversees the NGO and has the Darjeeling Municipality vice-chairman and GJMM leader Mr Dinesh Gurung as its president was formed on 28 July. “The CPI-M party office is a favourite haunt for drug addicts, alcoholics, sex workers and a hideout for criminals. Since there is no place to accommodate natural calamity victims, the NGO will use it for the purpose,” Mr Gurung said today.
It is the second time the CPI-M would lose its office in Darjeeling in a span of 12 years. The CPI-M breakaway faction of CPRM took over the CPI-M office in Darjeeling on November 1996 and now this.
“After receiving several complaints about the activities taking place in that office, we checked the municipal records and found out that the construction had no valid documents, neither had any rent been paid. Therefore, I as vice-chairman of the municipality have issued a notification to the IC sadar police station, who would forward it to the district magistrate and the superintendent of police.. The Darjeeling Municipality chairman has been notified too,” Mr Gurung said. On being questioned about the illegality of the act Mr Gurung said, “If the administration does not grant permission, we would file a mass petition before the district magistrate and other concerned authorities.” According to the CPI-M party sources, the party established the office in question in the under-constructed building owned by the Ropeway Services 10 years ago after the CPRM captured its previous office. “The building is a government property and though no rent was being paid, the party was contemplating on taking it on lease,” sources claimed.
CPI-M leader and state urban development minister Mr Asok Bhattacharya condemned the move stating that it was the GJMM’s doing in the guise of the NGO. “It is totally illegal. Our party members have taken due permission from the company that owns it. It is the work of the GJMM under the pretext of the NGO. No doubt our members are not in a position to visit the party office due to the present turmoil but that gives them no right to do this. We will certainly lodge a complaint with the higher authorities,” Mr Bhattacharya declared.

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