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Amartya Sen on Vishva-Bharati’s List of ‘Illegal Plot Holders’ | India News

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NEW DELHI: Visva-Bharati has written to the West Bengal government alleging that dozens of its plots have been wrongly registered in favor of private parties with the list of unauthorized occupants prepared by the university team, including the Nobel laureate and eminent economist Professor Amartya Sen.
The girls’ hostel, academic department, office and even the official VC bungalow are on the list of incorrectly registered plots. The university alleges that due to incorrect property registration in the government’s register of rights (RoR), the university’s land has been illegally transferred and private parties have established restaurants, schools and other businesses on land acquired by Rabindranath himself. Tagore.
In Professor Sen’s case, the university team has said that there is an unauthorized occupation of 13 decimal places of land, in addition to 125 decimal places that Visva-Bharati legally leased to his late father. In an email response to TOI, Sen said: “I see from your report that Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty of Visva-Bharati is busy organizing the ‘eviction for unauthorized occupation of leased land on campus’ and that I have also been appointed in the occupant list.
The Visva-Bharati land our house is on is under a long-term lease, nowhere near expiration, but the rector can always dream of evicting whoever he wants. ”

Amartya Sen on Vishva-Bharati's List of 'Illegal Plot Holders' | India News

According to the Visva-Bharati succession office, such erroneous records were prepared in the 1980s and 1990s. Most of these parcels are located in the Purvapalli area of ​​Santiniketan, known to be the residential center of Asramites (families associated with the Asrama and Visva-Bharati school during its beginnings) and eminent persons.
Documents with Visva-Bharati offices and also sent to the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the CAG revealed the proportions that the usurpation of university land reached in the late 1990s. In 2006, Professor Sen wrote to the then Vice Chancellor to have the 99-year leased land transferred to him and this was done after the Executive Council made a decision, but the remaining land was not returned to the university. TOI has both documents.
A confidential internal report, issued to various offices by the Visva-Bharati property office in July 2020, states that the university has addressed the issue of correcting the property registration of 77 parcels of land.
“The unauthorized occupants of the rented parcels of the Purvapalli / Dakshinpalli / Sripalli areas will be evicted. They are very high profile people, ”the report states. VC Bidyut Chakrabarty declined to comment on the matter saying, “I would not like to speak to the media about matters related to the Visva-Bharati administration.”
However, a senior official at the property office said: “Rabindranath Tagore and later his son Rathindranath arranged for eminent people such as ICS officers, educators and members of the royal family to reside in Santiniketan with the assurance that they would receive land for build houses on the basis of a 99-year lease. In return, some of them contributed money to the Visva-Bharati development funds. However, many of the original tenants transferred their parcels illegally after the death of Tagore and his son. Most of the current heirs are nonresident Santiniketanis, occupying large tracts of privileged land on campus and often doing business. They don’t treat the land as part of the college campus. ”
Professor Sen said in his email: “Having been born and raised in Santiniketan, I could comment on the great gap between the Santiniketan culture and that of the CV, empowered as it is by the central government in Delhi, with its increasing control over Bengal. . I would prefer to use Indian laws as they exist. To have mental strength, I can grab the beautiful old photo of our house of Abanindranath Tagore, among others. The Vice Chancellor would spare himself the need to invent completely imagined conversations with me, starting in an impossible way with my presentation as Bharat-Ratna, something that no one has ever heard me do. The VC, of ​​course, is also an inventive artist. ”
A farm official, however, said that “Sen is well aware that he is occupying a good amount of university land without authorization,” adding that the family benefited from selling parcels in the vicinity of the campus (in areas from Deer Park and Sripalli) that had no access except through campus.
A “tentative list of unauthorized occupants,” issued December 16, alleges that many tenants or their families have sold their leased land to outsiders. This could open a can of worms as there are names of local industrialists, Asramites, educators, NRIs, intellectuals and politicians.
The university is built on 1,132 acres of land of which 77 acres are being usurped and through legal battles and eviction campaigns, the university has managed to free 22 acres of late.
According to the real estate records, in the last decade he has eliminated the unauthorized occupation of an eminent and award-winning singer by Padmasri; an internationally renowned artist who had been a member of the Visva-Bharati EC; former director and member of the executive board of VB; an eminent Bengali industrialist; members of the famous Sen family of Santiniketan and many others.

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