The Visva Bharati University on Wednesday asked Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen to vacate by May 6 parts of a plot it alleged he has been occupying illegally in Birbhum district’s Santiniketan, PTI reported.
In a notice, the university said that the central institution urgently needed to get control of encroachments and also needs to send a report to the Centre.
“Amartya Kumar Sen and all concerned persons are liable to be evicted from the said premises, if need be, by use of such force as may be necessary,” the notice said.
The university claims that Sen is in possession of 1.38 acres of land in Birbhum’s Santiniketan in excess of his legal entitlement of 1.25 acres. It maintains that the additional plot of land is not part of his family-owned estate.
Sen maintains that the land was leased to his family for 100 years and a portion of it had been bought by his father from the market following all rules and regulations.
The Nobel laureate had said that he does not understand Visva Bharati University’s motives for asking him to return his property at the Santiniketan campus.
In recent years, Sen has been vocal in his criticism of policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government. On January 15, he had said that implementing the Citizenship Amendment Act could reduce the role of minorities in the country, while encouraging majoritarian forces.
In January, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had met Sen at his home and gave him documents of the plot that the Visva Bharati University has asked him to vacate.
In Wednesday’s notice, the university said that 13 decimals (or 0.13 acre) of land in the northwest corner of the premises has to be recovered from Sen, according to PTI.
The university had maintained that Sen’s reply to an earlier show cause notice was “fallacious, factually incorrect” and Visva Bharati was the rightful owner of the land.