Visva Bharati on Tuesday urged Nobel laureate Amartya Sen to hand over portions of land in Santiniketan in West Bengal, alleging that he is occupying the portion in an unauthorized manner. A letter signed by the representative of the central university registrar stated that the seat of the eminent economist was built on an area that covers the other 13 decimal places of the country.
The university also said it was prepared to conduct a joint investigation between its representatives and an inspector or a lawyer represented by Sen to verify the claims if he wanted. "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. "You are requested to hand over the said 13 decimals of land to the university at the earliest," it added.
The nobel laureate's father Asutosh Sen had taken 125 decimals of land on lease from the varsity in 1943, its spokesperson Mahua Banerjee said. Sen or his family members could not be contacted for comments. In January 2021, Visva Bharati Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty had accused Sen's family of being in illegal possession of land at the campus. Sen had then said the plot of land was on a long-term lease.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier alleged that Visva Bharati authorities were harassing Sen for his criticism of BJP's policies and ideology.