Petition Against Jayant Sinha: Rahul Gandhi Seeks Support For Petition Urging Harvard University to Withdraw Alumnus Status of Union Minister For Honouring Lynchers
Congress President Rahul Gandhi (Photo Credits: PTI)

New Delhi, July 10: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed Union Minister Jayanat Sinha for allegedly honouring Ramgarh lynching convicts after they were released on bail, seeking support for an online petition which urged the Harvard University to withdraw alumnus status of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader.

"If the sight of a highly educated MP & Central Minister, Jayant Sinha, garlanding & honouring criminals convicted of lynching an innocent man, fills you with disgust, click on the link & support this petition," Rahul Gandhi tweeted with the link. The petition is filed by political observer Prateek Kanwal who has marked a copy to the President of Harvard University.

Prateek Kanwal, himself a Harvard alumnus, addressed Lawrence Bacow, the new president of the university, stating that he had been forced to write this letter, ‘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. (sic)’

The petition then went on to state, “India is at present struggling with a surge in mob related violence that has claimed many lives. In the last seven months, there have been over 70 mob attacks, where close to 33 people have been killed. These attacks, fueled by deliberate rumor mongering, are more often than not targeted at members of minority communities, Dalits, Tribals and Women to spread fear and to polarize the electorate for political gain...

“One such case was the lynching of Mr. Alimuddin Ansari, on 29th June, 2017, in the state of Jharkhand in the east of India, on suspicion that he was carrying beef in his car. Eight men who were convicted in this case were recently released on bail, pending the disposal of their appeal against their conviction in a higher court. 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.”

According to reports, the life sentences of the convicts were suspended by the High Court and after getting bail they headed to Sinha's residence, led by a local Bharatiya Janata Party leader. Sinha defended his actions, saying that he had full faith in the country's judicial system and the rule of law.

He said while he unequivocally condemned all acts of violence and rejected any type of vigilantism, he had misgivings about the fast-track court judgment of sentencing the accused to life imprisonment. Condemning Sinha's action, the Congress had slammed the BJP and accused it of fanning communal tension.