Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Monday expressed his agony over India’s reducing indulgence in debate and dissent.  He said people are put into prisons without trial through the arbitrarily imposed charge of sedition.

“A person whom government does not like may be declared by it to be a terrorist and imprisoned,” he said on the continuous suppression of free voice.

He said visionary leaders like Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid should be treated as political assets rather than enemies, and should be given opportunity to pursue their pro-poor initiatives.

Sen on Monday also conveyed his thanks to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for extending her support after his family was accused by the Visva Bharati of being in ‘illegal’ possession of land on the campus.

"I am very happy indeed to get your wonderfully supportive letter. I am not only most touched, but also very reassured that despite the busy life you have to lead, you can find time for reassuring people under attack. Your strong voice, along with your full understanding of what is going on, is for me, a tremendous source of strength,” he said.

Banerjee on Monday blamed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for attempting to incite riots in Bengal. She said they are trying to subdue educational institutes like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).  

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“Bengal is being maligned. Gandhiji had come to Beliaghata to bring peace during the riots then,” she said.

Banerjee also said that BJP was targeting the educationists of the society.

“I'm targetted politically. Be it Abhijit Banerjee or Amartya Sen, they've a different place in society. Our educationists are being targeted. Now they're feeling isolated. In all these years, they (BJP) didn’t say anything on Netaji. Now they are talking about him,” Banerjee added.

She assured that she has signed an order for getting back the Visva Bharati land.

A huge controversy had erupted last Thursday, the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the centenary celebrations of Visva Bharati when media reported that the university has written to the West Bengal government alleging dozens of land parcels owned by it were wrongfully recorded in the names of private parties, including Sen.