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Monday, May 29, 2023

Police intervention ordered in Amartya Sen-Visva Bharati land dispute case

Following the land dispute between Visva-Bharati University authorities and Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen over a ‘disputed portion’ of land in possession of the latter within the university premises, an executive magistrate at Bolpur in West Bengal’s Birbhum district has ordered police intervention to maintain peace.

The order from the executive magistrate was given following a petition filed by the counsel of the Nobel Laureate economist expressing apprehension of breach of law and order over the probable eviction drive by the university authorities against Sen over that disputed portion of land.

Expressing apprehension that the eviction process might happen in absence of the Nobel Laureate economist from Bolpur, Sen’s counsel urged the office of the executive magistrate to maintain the status quo over the entire land which is under possession of his client now.

Accepting the argument, the executive magistrate has ordered the officer-in-charge of the local Santiniketan Police Station to inquire into the matter regarding whether there is any chance of breach of peace over the plot of land.

“The officer in-charge, Santiniketan Police station is further directed to maintain peace and tranquility over the area of the suit plot of land until the disposal of the instant case,” the order from the executive magistrate said.

The dispute is over just 13 decimals of land. It started when the vice-chancellor of Visva-Bharati University, Bidyut Chakraborty started accusing Sen of illegally occupying 1.38 acres of land which is in excess of his legal entitlement of 1.25 acres. However, the Nobel laureate refuted the allegation claiming the original 1.25 acres was gifted to his grandfather Late Kshitimohan Sen who was the second vice-chancellor of Visva-Bharati University. Later, Sen’s father Late Asutosh Sen, who was also a professor with the same university, purchased the remaining 13 decimals of land, which is at the centre of the dispute.

The West Bengal government has recently transferred leasehold rights of the entire 1.38 acres of land to Sen to thwart any eviction attempt by the university authorities.

(This article has been published via a syndicated feed)

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