Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen on Wednesday said that he does not understand the Visva Bharati University’s motive behind asking him to return his property at Santiniketan campus which the central university alleges to be under illegal possession, reported PTI.

On Tuesday, the Visva Bharati University issued a notice to Sen asking him to return around 7.6 cottahs (21,888 square feet) of land in Santiniketan, which the university claims is not part of his family-owned estate, reported The Times of India.

“I could not see any subtlety in their [university authorities’] thinking,” the economist told PTI. “I also do not understand the politics behind this attitude of Visva-Bharati University. This is my residence which was built on leased land from Visva-Bharati in the 1940s.”

Sen added that the land was leased out to his family for 100 years and some of it was also bought by his father from the market following all rules and regulations. “I do not see any reason to waste my time on this matter,” the 89-year-old told PTI. “It’s very difficult to understand why Visva-Bharati has suddenly become active in trying to drive me out.”

In December 2020, the Visva Bharati University had named Sen in a list of illegal plot holders within its premises. The Nobel laureate has a family house in Santiniketan, which was built by Kshitimohan Sen, his grandfather and a Sanskrit scholar. The list includes the name of Sen as his house, Pratichi, occupies around 138 decimals of land while the original lease was given on 125 decimals.

The notice served on Tuesday asked Sen to hand over the additional 13 decimals of allegedly illegally-occupied land at the earliest, reported The Times of India. “The university may organise a joint survey in the presence of your surveyor/advocate, if you want,” the notice said.

In recent years, Sen has been vocal in his criticism of several policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government. Last week, he said that implementing the Citizenship Amendment Act could reduce the role of minorities in the country, while encouraging majoritarian forces.