Rahul floats petition to strip Jayant Sinha of Harvard Alumnus tag

Last Thursday, Jayant Sinha welcomed eight men convicted in the Ramgarh lynching case in Jharkhand after they were released on bail.

New Delhi,July10: Days after Union minister and BJP leader Jayant Sinha ended up in a major controversy after garlanding Jharkhand lynching convicts, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday urged his followers to sign a petition to the prestigious Harvard University asking the institute to revoke Sinha’s alumnus tag.

Read More | Union Minister Jayant Sinha garlands 8 lynching convicts after release on bail

Gandhi wrote on Twitter: If the sight of a highly educated MP & Central Minister, Jayant Sinha, garlanding & honoring criminals convicted of lynching an innocent man, fills you with disgust, click on the link & support this petition.

The petition against Sinha endorsed by Rahul Gandhi is addressed to Lawrence Bacow, President, Harvard University. The petitioner, Prateek Kanwal, a Harvard alumni himself, write, “Unfortunately, I, a 2018 graduate from Harvard University on behalf of the concerned citizens of India, has been forced to write this letter, early in your tenure, to bring to your attention the infamy that one of our alumni, Mr. Jayant Sinha (Harvard Business School, 1992) has gained in India and the disrepute he has brought your university by his intemperate actions.”

Last Thursday, Sinha welcomed and feted eight men convicted in the Ramgarh lynching case in Jharkhand after they were released on bail. Triggering a political storm, the opposition accused him and the BJP of fanning communal tensions deliberately.

Faced with massive criticism from across quarters, Sinha defended himself in a series of tweets on Saturday, claiming that “he was honoring the due process of law”.

Sinha said he was “pleased” that the high court will now hear the matter as he had his “misgivings about the fast-track court judgment sentencing each accused to life imprisonment”. Batting for the rule of law, Sinha said he rejects “any type of vigilantism” and “condemn all acts of violence”.

Later, his father and veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, too, launched a scathing attack on his son, saying, “Earlier I was the Nalayak Baap (useless father) of a Layak Beta (Capable son) . Now the roles are reversed. That is twitter. I do not approve of my son’s action. But I know even this will lead to further abuse. You can never win.”

The petition further writes, “India is at present struggling with a surge in mob related violence that has claimed many lives… One such case was the lynching of Mr. Alimuddin Ansari, on 29th June, 2017, in the state of Jharkhand… Mr. Sinha, who is at present a Minister in the Indian Government, in a show of solidarity with these convicts, was photographed honoring them with traditional Indian garlands and sweets.”

The Master of Public Policy student ends his letter seeking immediate action from the Harvard University.

Till Tuesday evening, the petition that is seeking 1,000 votes, has received over 850 signatures.

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