Fri. May 24th, 2024


'Will Hold A Sit-In' If Amartya Sen's House Bulldozed: Mamata Banerjee

“I want to see who is more powerful – bulldozer or humanity,” Mamata Banerjee said.


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said that she will hold a sit-in at Bolpur in case authorities of the Visva Bharati University try to “bulldoze” Nobel laureate Amartya Sen’s ancestral house ‘Pratichi’ in the campus area on the charge that he was illegally occupying more land than was leased out to him.

The University in an eviction order, has asked Mr Sen to vacate by May 6 or within 15 days of the publication of the last order, 0.13 aces (5,550 square feet) of the 1.38 acres of the leased land which the authorities claim the famed economist occupies in an “unauthorised manner”.

Ms Banerjee told mediapersons here, “Amartya Sen is being attacked every day. I have seen their (VB’s) audacity. I will be the first person to go there (Bolpur) if they (try to) bulldoze his house. I will hold a sit-in there.

“I want to see who is more powerful – bulldozer or humanity,” she said.

Ms Banerjee had handed over to Mr Sen on January 30 documents of the state land and revenue department stating that the entire 1.38 acre of land belonged to the Sen’s through a mutation done in 2006.

The university authorities have challenged the documents.

Its notice said, “Amartya Kumar Sen and all concerned persons are liable to be evicted from the said premises, if need be, by use of such force as may be necessary.” “It is decided that 13 decimals of land having the dimension of 50 ft x 111 ft in the north-west corner of the scheduled premises is to be recovered from him,” it said.

“Thus he (Sen) can lawfully occupy 1.25 acres of land only, as lessee (for the residual period of lease) in the scheduled premises,” the notice issued by Joint Registrar Asish Mahato said.

The notice has been criticised by other political parties too including the Congress, which accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of “targeting” Mr Sen for being a stern critic of the Hindutva forces.

Founded in 1921 by Rabindranath Tagore, Visva Bharati was a college till it was made a central university by an act of Parliament in 1951.

It is Bengal’s only central university and the prime minister is its chancellor.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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