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Featured Image: Roy Villa in Darjeeling and Sister Nivedita in file photographs. 

By A Newsman

Siliguri, 14 September: HERITAGE Roy Villa in Darjeeling, where Sister Nivedita had stayed and breathed her last in 1911, has been vandalised by miscreants.

Some devotees, who went to the four-storyed building located at Lebong Car Road today morning to offer routine prayers, discovered the vandalism and informed the Ram Krishna Mission Nivedita Educational and Cultural Centre authorities in Siliguri.

The building is owned and maintained by the Centre, which imparts formal and vocational training to needy people from different parts of Darjeeling. Since the unrest broke out in the Hills from early June, the authorities went to Siliguri, leaving the building to the devotees and volunteers to take care of.

Secretary of the Centre, Swami Nityasatyananda Maharaj, came rushing to Roy Villa in a police convoy after hearing about the vandalism. He said that miscreants have desecrated the main prayer room and Nivedita’s living room located on the fourth floor.

“They seem to have forayed in by breaking windowpanes and then vandalised the entire fourth floor, braking several framed photographs, braking the door panel, and looting away arounf Rs 60,000 that was there in the donation box,” he said, adding that this is the first time ever that Roy Villa has been attacked.

Darjeeling superintendent of police Akhilesh Chaturvedi said that prima facie it appears to be not the handiwork of Gorkhaland agitators who have kept the Hills shut since 15 June. Given the fact that money has been stolen, petty thieves could be behind the loot, he said.

Earlier on 19 July, suspected Gorkha Janmukti Morcha cadres had set fire to the near a century-old Raj Rajeswari Hall at Kurseong town owned by the Bengali Association of Kurseong. The Hall was being utilised for ages by Bengalis to host Durga Puja every autumn.

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