Indira Bhavan to house offices of probe panels

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After much controversy, the Trinamool Congress government has decided to convert Indira Bhavan at Salt Lake, where former chief minister Jyoti Basu resided for almost 20 years, into a full-fledged government office that will house the offices of four inquiry commissions.

The building, which was named after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi after she stayed here for a week in 1972 to attend the All India Congress Committee session, was planned to be renamed after poet Qazi Nazrul Islam by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who wanted to set up an academy for research and studies on the poet. However, following public outcry and vehement protests from the Congress, then its ally, the Trinamool government shelved the plan and decided to set up Nazrul Bhavan at Rajarhat.

"We do not call it as Indira Bhavan. It is just a state government guest house. And yes, it is going to be a government office as the offices of the four inquiry commissions are going to be shifted there,'' Debasish Sen, principal secretary of Urban Development Department, told The Indian Express.

The four commissions, whose offices are going to be set up here, are the one probing Cossipore massacre of 1971 headed by Justice (retd) Asit Kumar Bish, the Justice (retd) Nikhil Bhattacharya commission probing the death of 23 tribals who took part in a rally to celebrate Hool at Chandrokona in West Midnapore district in 1999, the commission investigating the massacre of 17 Anandamargis on Bijon Setu in South Kolkata in 1982 headed by Justice (retd) Santosh Kumar Faujdar and the one probing Rajarhat land scam headed by Justice (retd) Ramendra Narayan Roy.

The commissions will begin functioning from Indira Bhavan from December 1.

After Mamata came to power, she has set up nine judicial commissions to inquire various incidents that took place in the state between 1971 and 2011. The offices of other commissions are housed at Council House Street.

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