first_imgBengaluru, Aug 17 (PTI) The National School of Dramas Bengaluru chapter, which operates from a Karnataka government- owned building here, has been “evicted” from the premises over a rent dispute, setting off protests by students and members.Officials of the NSD, an autonomous institution under the Union Ministry of Culture, charged that officials of the Karnataka Youth Empowerment and Sports Department who carried out the eviction yesterday dumped property worth Rs 5 crore outside even as it was raining.Theatre personalities and students belonging to various states and Union Territories are staging a protest since last night against the eviction.Policemen have been deployed outside the premises.NSD (Bengaluru chapter) Director CBasavalingaiah told PTI that they were protesting their eviction carried out inan “inhumane manner”.Officials “evicted us along with our Rs five-crore property, which has been left to the mercy of rain gods,” he said.Defending the eviction, officials of the state government said the NSD had rent arrears to the tune of Rs 20 lakh and the department had directed them to vacate the property in May last, giving a 30-day deadline.They said notices had been served on the NSD six times, but it did not respond following which they carried out the eviction.”The rental agreement of the property between the department and the NSD, which was entered into in 2008, was extended thrice before,” an official said.According to NSD officials, the state officials along with a contingent of staffers entered the premises located at Gurunanak Bhavan here. They allegedly broke open the main door, locks of rooms and dumped the properties outside.advertisementBasavalingaiah questioned the eviction even as talks were on with ministers Roshan Baig and Umashree to grant the property on lease for 20 to 30 years.However, state government officials, who are camping at the premises, alleged the NSD had stopped paying rent for sometime, despite having the wherewithal.The also alleged that hardly any theatre activities took place at the NSD.Basavalingaiah allegedthe department had increased the monthly rent from Rs 20,000 to Rs 55,000.”I apologise for not paying the rent, but we want minister Roshan Baig and the department to either provide another property or grant us this property on lease. We are ready to pay up,” he said.He said the NSD did not want to shift its base here due to lack of proper facilities at other theatre centres such as Kalagram, on the campus of Bengaluru University.Basavalingaiah also said the eviction had created a roadblock for them to conduct Theatre Olympics, which is scheduled to take place in a weeks time for the first time in the country.”It is coming here after completing its circuit in Greece, Japan, Russia, Turkey South Korea, China and Poland. We are embarrassed. We do not know what we have to say to the NSD, Delhi,” he said. Basavalingaiah also said the NSD has offered to spend Rs three crore on renovation to hold the event if the government leased out the property. “To continue our theatre activities, we need the property here,” he added. PTI BDN RA VS GVSlast_img read more