West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reacted to the issue of Nobel laureate and economist Amartya Sen’s name cropping up in the list of people illegally occupying the land belonging to Visva-Bharati University.
“We all salute Amartya Sen. He has made Bengal proud. Do you believe that such a day will come that he will forcefully stay on a house that doesn’t belong to him? Who all are saying this? How long do they know Bengal? Just because he is not inclined towards BJP they are putting such allegations against him. They are not only insulting Sen, but also the people of Bengal,” said Mamata.
The university had written to the state government saying that land owned by the university was being shown as the private property of individuals, which included Amartya Sen.
The properties with unauthorised occupants also include the girls’ hostel, academic department, office and Vice-Chancellor (VC)’s bungalow.
The university claimed that the persons in whose names the properties have been wrongly recorded in the government’s record-of-right, that land has been wrongly transferred to private parties who, in turn, have set up restaurants, schools and other businesses on it.
Sen has allegedly illegally occupied 13 decimals of land. This is in addition to the 125 decimal land legally leased to his late father by the university. However, Sen has denied the allegations.
Mamata has vowed to protest against the allegations made targeting the Nobel laureate.
“I ask the intellectuals that they should protest against allegations put against Sen. I will also ask all to protest. I will be going to Shantiniketan on 28th where I will also protest,” said the West Bengal Chief Minister.
Sen had responded to a Times of India query saying, “The Visva-Bharati land on which our house is situated is on a long-term lease, which is nowhere near its expiry, but the vice-chancellor can always dream about evicting anyone he wants.”