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Writers Building

The Writers' Building often shortened to just Writers', is the secretariat building of the State Government of West Bengal in India. It is located in West Bengal's capital city of Kolkata. The 150-meter long Writers' Building covers the entire northern stretch of the a water body locally called Lal Dighi in the B.B.D. Bagh area. This originally served as the office for writers of the British East India Company, hence the name. Designed by Thomas Lyon in 1777, the Writers' Building has gone through several extensions over the years. It housed the office of the Chief Minister of West Bengal until 4 October 2013. Now most of the departments have moved out to another building named Nabanna in Howrah on a temporary basis for facilitating renovation. The giant pediment at the centre is crowned with the statue of Minerva. The terrace also contains several other statues and notable among them are four clusters of statues, christened 'Justice', 'Commerce', 'Science' and 'Agriculture', with the Greek gods and goddesses of these four streams (Zeus, Hermes, Athena and Demeter respectively) flanked by a European and an Indian practitioner of these vocations. The Writers' Building was designed by Thomas Lyon in 1777 for the British East India Company. In 1821 a 128 ft-long verandah with Ionic columns, each 32 ft high, were added on the first and second floors. From 1889 to 1906 two new blocks were added, approached by iron staircases that are still in use. Writers' acquired its Greco-Roman look, complete with the portico in the central bay and the red surface of exposed brick. The parapet was put in place and the statues sculpted by William Fredric Woodington in 1883, that line the terrace, were installed. On 8 December 1930 Benoy Basu, Badal Gupta and Dinesh Gupta headed for the Writers' Building. Dressed in European outfits they carried loaded revolvers. They shot dead the notorious Inspector General of Police, Colonel N.S. Simpson, infamous for his brutal oppression of the prisoners in the jail. After killing Commender-in-chief Simpson, they occupied the Writers' Building, and soon a gun battle followed in the corridors. Unable to stand up to the numerous forces of Calcutta police, the trio soon found themselves overpowered and cornered. Unwilling to give themselves up, Badal took potassium cyanide and died instantly, while his comrades shot themselves. Benoy died five days later in hospital but Dinesh survived only to be hanged on 7 July 1931. Today Dalhousie Square is named after the trio and is called B.B.D. Bagh. A statue of Benoy, Badal and Dinesh stands in front of the Writers' Building, showing Benoy, the group leader, leading his comrades in their final battle.

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