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Visva-Bharati University continues to call Amartya Sen illegal holder of its land

Visva-Bharati registrar Ashok Mahato on Saturday asked for measurements university campus and the land belonging to Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.

SNS | New Delhi |

Visva-Bharati University VC Ashok Mahato has solidified the institution’s stand that Nobel laureate Amartya Sen illegally holds a piece of land inside it’s premises.

A debate has been stirred in West Bengal after Visva-Bharati University VC alleged that Professor Sen – an allumni of the institution – had illegally registered a part of the university’s land under his own name.

At a press conference in VBU’s central office, Mahato on Saturday asked for measurements university campus and the land belonging to the internationally-famed economist.

“We demand the surveyor of the Land and Land reforms department of government of West Bengal measure the plot” and this should be done as soon as possible to permanently resolve the dispute, a statement issued by the university said.

The registrar further informed that VBU was in possession of all the required documents that’ll prove Professor Sen had encroached into a part of the university’s land.

The 87-year-old, who now lives in the USA, had already trashed both claims by the Visva-Bharati maintaining that he did not visit India during June-July 2019, had no hawkers near his residence and the land, on which his house stands is on a long-term lease, which is nowhere near its expiry.

Stating that the Visva-Bharati authorities had never complained to him or his family about any irregularity in holding the land, Sen has accused the VC of acting at the behest of the Centre “with its growing control over Bengal”.

Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee, the West Bengal Chief Minister, had taken cognizance of the ongoing situation and penned down a letter to Professor Sen.

She said last month that the allegations had been levelled against him because he “isn’t inclined towards BJP’s ideology”.

“We all know about your family’s deep and organic bonds with Santiniketan. Your maternal grandfather, revered scholar Kshitimohan Sen, was one of the early leading settlers in Santiniketan, while your father Ashutosh Sen, a noted educationist and public administrator, had his famed house Pratichi built in Santiniketan about eight decades ago. Yours has been a family weaved in the culture and fabric of Santiniketan, inalienably.”

Reacting to her letter, Professor Sen wrote back to Banerjee and thanked her for standing beside him.

In a short email, he wrote, “I am very happy indeed to get your supportive letter. I am not only most touched, but also very reassured that despite the busy life you have to lead, you can find time for reassuring people under attack. Your strong voice, along with your full understanding of what is going on, is, for me, a tremendous source of strength.”