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New Delhi, July 9 (ANI): Are curtains coming down on the venerable newspaper The Statesman?

According to a report appearing the Noida-based magazine titled “Views on News”, the State Bank of India (SBI) has put the final nail in the coffin of this venerable paper through a possession notice that says that “The Statesman House Building” in Kolkata would be attached to the bank on July 24, 2015.

This report of a possession notice being issued has reportedly been released to all major dailies in Kolkata, confirming fears of many in the city that The Statesman is virtually on its deathbed.

It is being reported that should the paper, which was established in 1875, continue to be published from the The Statesman House, which was established in January, 1933, it would do as a tenant.

The Statesman technically has 60-days from the date of the notice to cough up Rs.35.14 crores plus interest to have the attachment notice vacated.

The management of the paper has reportedly approached the court for a stay order, but it is being reported that this relief if given at all, will be of a temporary nature.

It is being stated that the sale of the building will allow the paper to clear its outstanding debt and start afresh.

The paper’s founder editor was Robert Knight and Pran Chopra was its first Indian editor.

S. Nihal Singh, Amalendu Dasgupta and Sunanda K. Dutta Ray are all noted commentators associate with The Statesman.

C.R. Irani was its editor for several decades. Ravinder Kumar is its current editor.

As things stand for now, the SBI’s control of The Statesman House is confirmed by the court, and there will be a statutory auction of the property.

The building has been declared a heritage structure, and therefore, its façade and basic structure cannot be changed. At best, the building may soon have new owners.

Well known photo-journalist Raghu Rai was quoted, as saying, “I sincerely feel that ever since C. R. Irani started taking an interest in the management of the paper, and eventually took it over, the daily started declining. It went down, down and down.”

He also said that he could forsee the paper’s death in 1977, when he quit. (ANI)

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