The Visva Bharati University in West Bengal, India has accused Nobel laureate Amartya Sen of occupying a plot of land in an illegal manner and has requested him to hand it over to the university. The university claims that Sen’s residence was built on an extra 13 decimals of land at Santiniketan in the Birbhum district.
“It has been found from records and physical survey/demarcation that you are in unauthorised occupation of 13 decimals of land belonging to Visva Bharati…” the letter said. “You are requested to hand over the said 13 decimals of land to the university at the earliest,” it added.
The university has offered to conduct a joint survey with representatives from both sides to verify the claims. Amartya Sen has stated that the land in question was leased to him on a long-term contract. West Bengal’s Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, has previously supported Sen and has claimed that he is being harassed by the university due to his criticism of the central government led by the BJP.