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WB: Visva-Bharati issues eviction order to Amartya Sen

April 20, 2023

Mita Mukherjee

Visva-Bharati University issued an order to economist Amartya Sen late on Wednesday night asking him to vacate within 15 days or May 6, the 13 decimals of land, which according to the varsity is under “unauthorized occupation,” of the Nobel Laureate.

“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred on me under sub-section (1) of Section 5 of the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971, I hereby order the said Sri Amartya Kumar Sen S/o late Ashutosh Sen and all persons, who may be in occupation of the said premises or any part thereof to vacate the said premises within 15 days of the date of publication of this order, or within 06th May 2023, whichever is later,” read the six-page letter issued by Visva-Bharati estate officer Ashok Mahato.

The letter further read “In the event of refusal or failure to comply with this order within the period specified,” Sen “and all persons concerned are liable to be evicted from the said premises, if need be, by use of such force as may be necessary”.

In the letter, Mahato cited the reasons and details of the inquiry and said he was “satisfied” with the findings of the inquiry that 13 decimals were under Sen’s “unauthorized occupation”.

The central university had started a legal process last month to evict the Nobel Laureate from the 13 decimals of the 1.38-acre premises of Pratichi, Sen’s ancestral home in Santiniketan.

Sen had sent an e-mail to Visva-Bharati on April 17 saying that the university’s claim on part of the leased land has no legal standing. “ I am the holder of the land, and it was passed on to me after the death of my parents, Asutosh Sen and Amita Sen. They also purchased other land in close proximity to the leased land.” The use of the land has remained the same for over 80 years. “ Any contrary claim to this leased land before the expiry of the lease cannot stand,” Sen had said.

Sen is  currently in the US and he is scheduled to come to Santiniketan in June.

During a visit to the economist’s home in Santiniketan, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had handed over relevant document to Sen confirming that the plot leased to his father Asutosh Sen was 1.38 acres and not 1.22 acres as claimed by the Visva-Bharati.

Visva-Bharati in January had sent three letters to Sen asking him to hand over the 13 decimals of the land that the university claimed that he was occupying without authorization in addition to the 1.25 acres which had been leased to his family.

 Sen had denied unauthorized occupation of any additional land.

A source close to Sen’s family said they would take legal steps against the April 19 order.

Also Read: PMO accepts complaint against Visva-Bharati vice-chancellor

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