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The South Asian Insider

'Humiliation': Open letter to Visva Bharati on eviction notice to Amartya Sen

(News Agency)-Over 120 personalities have written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is also the chancellor of Visva Bharati, condemning the eviction notice issued to Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.
The letter accuses Visva Bharati of harassment and humiliation of Amartya Sen over a land issue.
"The kind of behaviour by an esteemed university like Visva Bharati is unexpected and appalling. We condemn this harassment, humiliation, and misdemeanor against a respected economist. Sen inherited the leased land and now the varsity is set to evict the economist from his ancestral home, which is an insult at its lowest for all Bengalis, Indians in front of the entire world,” the letter read.In a recent eviction order, the Visva Bharati university had asked the renowned economist to vacate the 13 decimals of land on campus in Santiniketan which he had allegedly occupied in an unauthorised manner by May 6.The signatories include former chief economist of World Bank Kaushik Basu, actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty, writer Bhagirath Misra, educationist Pabitra Sarkar, theatre critic Samik Bandhopadyay, director Anik Dutta, and actor Kamaleshwar Mukhopadyay, among others.
They questioned the prime minister's silence on the issue and accused Visva Bharati administration of defying a court order by accusing Sen of illegal occupation of a leased land.The issue began with a row over land which was rented to the economist's family for 99 years in 1943. The university has claimed that Sen's father rented only 1.25 acres of land on a 99-year lease in 1943, while the remaining three decimal is being occupied illegally by Sen.
Visva Bharati has asked Amartya Sen to vacate 13 decimals of its land by May 6 or within 15 days of the publication of the last order, failing which he would be removed "by use of force if necessary.""Any contrary claim to this leased land before the expiry of the lease cannot stand. The magistrate of the area has noted that the existing arrangement should be recognised and that no interference or breach of peace should be allowed," he wrote in a letter to Visva Bharati.