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Amartya Sen may have to vacate Shantiniketan home over rift with Viswa Bharti

By Dipaneeta Das: A court in Bengal’s Bolpur today permitted the imposition of Section 145 on the ‘disputed’ land at the Shantiniketan home of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.

This comes as the situation turns grim for the economist with a rift expanding between him and the Shantiniketan Trust in Bengal’s Birbhum district.

According to sources, lawyers representing Sen are apprehending a final eviction notice to the 89-year-old in the days to come by Viswa Bharati.

Also Read | Visva Bharati issues eviction notice to Amartya Sen, asks Nobel-laureate to appear on March 29

The court ordered police deployment in the area to ensure law and order as Sen’s lawyers expressed concern over the breach of security at the economist’s ‘Pratichi’ residence in Shantiniketan.

“The officer-in-charge, Santiniketan Police Station, shall enquire into the matter regarding whether there is any chance of breach of peace over the area of the suit plot of land and shall send a report to this court by April 13 without fail,” the court order to the Executive Magistrate of Bolpur, Birbhum, mentioned.

The court order came in response to a petition filed earlier this month amid the growing rift between the university and Sen.

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What is Section 145?

Under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC), 1973, Section 145 is a notice issued when a dispute regarding land and water is likely to turn volatile. It is permitted by the court of law against a petition filed by a complainant when proved by a police report that a dispute might breach peace and tranquility. The order is directed to a government executive, asking to ensure peace within his local jurisdiction concerning land or water boundaries thereof.

It is pertinent to mention that Nobel prize winner Sen, who is currently in the US, is accused by Viswa Bharati University of “illegal possession” of the excess area at his ‘Pratichi’ residence. Despite several pleas, Sen has refused to return the occupied land which is beyond the 1.25 acres that he is entitled to, allegedly belonging to the university, Viswa Bharati Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty earlier claimed.

So far, the university has already sent three missives to Sen, including a show cause notice, asking him to explain why an eviction notice must not be sent to him, news agency PTI reported.

(With inputs from Santanu Hazra)

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