A former student of Harvard on Wednesday urged his university to withdraw the Harvard alumni status of Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, since he had felicitated those convicted of lynching a man to death.
Prateek Kanwal, who studied public policy at the US-based varsity, wrote a letter to its President, mentioning about recent mob attacks in India on "members of minority communities, Dalits, tribals and women to spread fear and to polarise the electorate for political gain."
Kanwal went on to write, "Under the circumstances, you may consider issuing a statement strongly condemning his (Jayant Sinha) actions, to mitigate any further damage to the Harvard brand in India. We also ask that you withdraw his alumni status on account of his inappropriate behaviour that has brought disrespect to the name of your hallowed institution."
On July 6, a picture went viral in which Sinha was seen felicitating eight convicts, who came out on bail, of lynching a meat trader in Jharkhand state last year.
The picture created a political furore with the opposition mounting attack on Sinha's Bharatiya Janata Party.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday supported a petition against Sinha, seeking removal of his Harvard alumni status. The petition was launched by Prateek Kanwal.
"If the sight of a highly educated MP and central minister, Jayant Sinha, garlanding and honouring criminals convicted of lynching an innocent man fills you with disgust, click on the link and support this petition," Gandhi wrote on Twitter.