West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken umbrage at the Visva-Bharati University sending a missive to the state government alleging that dozens of university’s plots have been wrongly allocated to private entities. In the list of squatters, the most notable name is that of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, which Mamata says is there because he is not too enamoured of the BJP.
‘‘We all salute Amartya Sen. He has made Bengal proud. Do you believe a day will come that he has to usurp a house that doesn’t belong to him? Who all are saying this? How long have they know Bengal? Just because he is not inclined towards the BJP, they are making these allegations against him. They are not only insulting Sen, but also the people of Bengal,” said Mamata.
According to Visva-Bharati, the academic department, the girls’ hostel, as well as the Vice Chancellor’s official bungalow have made it to the list of plots allocated to private parties.
The university attributes the transfer of land towards businesses like that of restaurants, schools, among others, to the practise of wrong recordings in the government’s record-of-right. The original mass of land was procured by Rabindranath Tagore.
Sen has been accused of occupying 13 decimals of land, in addition to the 125 decimals of legally leased land given to his father by the university. However, Sen has denied the allegations.
Mamata has vowed to protest. “Intellectuals should protest against the allegations against Sen. I will be going to Shantiniketan on the 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.”
The estate office of Visva Bharati claims that these fallacious records were created back in the 80’s and 90’s, with most of these plots being located in an area inhabited by eminent people.
Source: Free Press Journal