Encroachment row: Didi gives Amartya Sen land deed

Wednesday 01st February 2023 06:26 EST

Kolkata: Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Monday handed over land record documents of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen’s residence in Santiniketan to the celebrated economist, dismissing the claims of the current Visva-Bharati dispensation that he was illegally occupying a part of that land.

No one should harass the 89-year-old economist, Mamata said, after announcing that the state government would provide him Z-plus security and post a police camp outside his residence. Sen’s residence, Pratichi, stands on 1.38 acres of land. The economist has said his father, Asutosh Sen, took 1.25 acres of land on 99 years’ lease in 1943. The remaining 0.13 acre of land was bought by his father later, Sen has said. The current Visva-Bharati dispensation under vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty has questioned Sen’s ownership of this portion of the land. Its estates department served two notices to the Nobel laureate on January 24 and 27, urging him to return the “13 decimals of land” and proposing a joint inspection and survey.

Mamata, while handing over the land record documents retrieved from the state government’s block land revenue office to Sen at his Santiniketan home on Monday, stressed that the economist was “the rightful owner of the 1.38 acres of land”. The documents the CM gave to Sen dated from 1956 and 1984, officials said. “You don’t worry about any more letters and notices as you have the proper legal documents with you now,” Mamata told Sen during the 30-minute conversation on Monday afternoon. Mamata “wondered” whether Bidyut Chakraborty was fit for the vice-chancellor’s position.

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