CM Mamata Banerjee Asks Ministers For A Sit In For Amartya Sen's Santiniketan Residence

West Bengal Chief Minister is trying to protect noble laureate Amartya Sen's Santiniketan residence as the central university Viswa Bharati claims that parts of Sen's residence belong to the university premises but are illegally owned by him.

Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has asked the state ministers to begin a sit-in outside Nobel laureate Amartya Sen's residence in Santiniketan in Birbhum district.

It has veen reported that the Chief Minister's order came as a protest against the Visva-Bharati's eviction notice.

During a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Banerjee asked Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Chandranath Sinha, the local MLA, to lead the protest, which will be joined by Education Minister Bratya Basu and Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim.

She asked them not to move from the spot even if the central university authorities send bulldozers to take possession of the land.

Bauls and other folk artistes from the district must be involved in the demonstration, and various cultural programmes should be organised there, she told the ministers, according to the reports.

Singer Kabir Suman and painter Subhaprasanna will also join the programme on May 6 and 7, the official said, quoting her.

"The CM advised them not to move an inch even if Visva-Bharati sends bulldozers to take possession," he said.

Banerjee had last week said that she would start a sit-in in Santiniketan over the issue.

 All about the incident

Visva-Bharati had sent an eviction notice to Amrtya Sen on April 19, asking him to vacate 13 decimals of the 1.38 acres of land of his residence within May 6.

The university has been claiming that Sen has 1.38 acres of land on the Santiniketan campus, which is more than his legal entitlement of 1.25 acres. The economist has earlier asserted that most of the land he is holding on the Santiniketan campus was purchased from the market by his father while some other plots were taken on lease.

Set up in 1921 by Rabindranath Tagore, Visva-Bharati is West Bengal's only central university, and the prime minister is its chancellor.

Banerjee had handed over land-related documents to Sen during a visit to his residence in January when the Nobel laureate was at Santiniketan.

(With PTI inputs)