Ex-Visva Bharati student files police complaint against VC for causing 'mental harassment' to Amartya Sen

Former students files complaint against Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty and two other officials for harassment by verbal abuse in the land eviction row.

Ex-Visva Bharati student files police complaint against VC for causing 'mental harassment' to Amartya Sen Visva Bharti University, Kolkata. (Picture: Official Website)
Press Trust of India | Apr 26, 2023 - 12:29 p.m. IST
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KOLKATA: A former student of Visva Bharati has filed a complaint with police against Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty and two other officials, accusing them of causing "mental harassment" to Nobel laureate Amartya Sen over land eviction.

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The complainant, Trisha Rani Bhattacharya, took exception to the "verbal abuse of such a personality by calling him a land grabber and encroacher", and demanded strict action as per legal provisions. Bhattacharya, in a letter to the Officer-in-Charge of Santiniketan police station in Birbhum district, also made allegations against Deputy Registrar Ashok Mahato and university spokesperson Mahua Bandyopadhay, apart from the VC.

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An officer of Santiniketan police station confirmed receipt of the complaint as a general diary on Tuesday evening. "I am scared the continuing volley of attacks on Sen may inflict a big mishap on his life, as he is bound to feel anguished," she said in the letter. "I should have lodged the complaint earlier.

The humiliation of a 90-year-old man by the university cannot be allowed to continue. I call upon all alumni members to stand by Sir Amartya Sen,” Bhattacharya later told reporters. Visva Bharati officials could not be contacted for comments. The varsity has accused the celebrated economist of illegally occupying a piece of land on its campus. In a fresh eviction order, the central varsity asked Sen to vacate by May 6 or within 15 days of the publication of the last order on April 19, the land allegedly occupied in an unauthorised manner.

Also Read | Visva Bharati University tells Nobel laureate Amartya Sen to vacate 13 decimals of land by May 6

Contending that as per government advisories and CAG reports, the century-old institution was in urgent need of getting control of encroachments and also submit report to the ministry, the 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, the order said.

“Thus, he can lawfully occupy 1.25 acres of land only, as lesses (for the residual period of lease) in the scheduled premises. He does not have the authority to occupy 1.38 acres of land in the scheduled premises," the notice said. The Nobel laureate has repeatedly trashed the allegations. Visva Bharati SFI unit office-beater Somnath Sow said the students will do everything possible to protect Sen from “further ignominy”.

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