Birbhum land department officials on Tuesday handed over an official copy of the order transferring the leasehold rights of the entire 1.38 acres on which Nobel laureate Amartya Sen’s ancestral home Pratichi in Santiniketan is built in his name to his representative living in the university town.
The state government completed the transfer of the leasehold rights on Monday, with Birbhum district magistrate Bidhan Ray officially confirming it.
“It was the first official communication from the state land department confirming that the leasehold rights were transferred in the name of Amartya Sen as he is the heir of (his father) Ashutosh Sen, the lessee. We are told that we will get the certified copy of the land records very soon,” said Gitikantha Majumdar, who received the government order on behalf of the economist.
Sen is in the US now. The copy of the order details the act and the grounds under which the transfer of land records was made after two hearings that the administration conducted in the presence of representatives of Sen and the owner of the land, Visva-Bharati.
“Professor Sen was very happy after he was informed about the development. He has thanked all including the state government and chief minister who stood by him during this period,” Majumdar added.
Majumdar has been dealing with Sen’s land-related issue since Visva-Bharati began sending letters to the Nobel laureate asking him to return 13 decimals of the 1.38 acres.
Since January, Visva-Bharati sent three letters to Sen asking him to return the allegedly unauthorised 13 decimals. The claim, however, was swatted away by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who said, during her visit to Birbhum in January, that an inquiry by the state government revealed Sen as the rightful lessee of the entire plot measuring 1.38 acres.
“Now Professor Sen has a copy of the order of the land department,” said a land department official on Tuesday.
Visva-Bharati authorities are sticking to their claim that they would continue with the legal process that they initiated against Sen to recover the 13 decimals, as was evident in the varsity estate officer and acting registrar Ashok Mahato’s stance during his news meet on Monday.