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West Bengal: Visva Bharati University asks Nobel laureate Amartya Sen to return 'unauthorised' Santiniketan land

West Bengal: Visva Bharati University asks Nobel laureate Amartya Sen to return 'unauthorised' Santiniketan land

A letter signed by the deputy registrar of the university on Tuesday said the residence of the noted economist has been built on an area, which covers extra 13 decimals of land.

Amartya Sen has been accused of occupying 13 decimals of land, in addition to the 125 decimals of legally leased land given to his father by the university. (Credit: India Today archive) Amartya Sen has been accused of occupying 13 decimals of land, in addition to the 125 decimals of legally leased land given to his father by the university. (Credit: India Today archive)

The Visva Bharati University has asked Nobel laureate Amartya Sen to hand over a section of a land tract in West Bengal's Santiniketan that it claims the 89-year-old economist has been using in an "unauthorised" manner.

A letter signed by the deputy registrar of the university on Tuesday said the residence of the noted economist has been built on an area, which covers extra 13 decimals of land, PTI reported. "It has been found from records and physical survey/demarcation that you are in unauthorised occupation of 13 decimals of land belonging to Visva Bharati..." the letter said.

The letter further requested Sen to hand over the said 13 decimals of land to the university "at the earliest."

The Visva Bharati University also said that it was ready to undertake a joint survey of its representatives and the surveyor or advocate deputed by Sen to verify the claims if he wanted.

In 2021, Visva Bharati University wrote to its state government alleging that dozens of university's plots were wrongly allocated to private entities. The university situated at Shantiniketan said in writing that the team preparing the list of unauthorised occupants include Amartya Sen.

According to Vivsa Bharati, the academic department, office, the girls' hostel, as well as the Vice Chancellor's official bungalow made it to the list of plots allocated to private parties.

Amartya Sen has been accused of occupying 13 decimals of land, in addition to the 125 decimals of legally leased land given to his father by the university.

Back then, Sen had said that the plot of land was on a long-term lease which is nowhere near its expiry.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier alleged that Visva Bharati authorities were harassing Sen for his criticism of BJP's policies and ideology.

Visva-Bharati University is built over 1,132 acres of land, of which 77 acres was under contention. Having said that, the university has managed to acquire 22 acres of the land through legal battles.

(With PTI inputs)

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Published on: Jan 25, 2023, 2:13 PM IST
Posted by: Smriti Mishra, Jan 25, 2023, 2:08 PM IST