NEW DELHI: Lashing out at Union Minister Jayant Sinha for garlanding Ramgarh lynching convicts, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday asked Twitter followers sign a petition demanding the withdrawal of Sinha's Harvard alum status.
“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,” tweeted the Congress president.
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 (@RahulGandhi) July 10, 2018
The petition, floated by Harvard University alum Prateek Kanwal, is addressed to the President of the varsity.
“Mr Jayant Sinha, a Minister in the Central Government and an Alumni of Harvard University, recently garlanded and honored convicts accused of lynching Mr. Alimuddin Ansari. These actions by the Minister have shocked the nation and brought disrepute to our great institution. As a responsible citizen of this country and as an Alumni of Harvard, I strongly condemn these actions and ask the Harvard University to withdraw his Alumni status,” states Kanwal in his change.org petition.
A controversy emerged after the BJP Minister of State for Civil Aviation felicitated eight men convicted in the Ramgarh lynching case in Jharkhand. They met Sinha at his residence after their life sentences were suspended by the high court.
The move drew massive condemnation from opposition forcing Sinha to issue a clarification. Defending himself, he said that the Ranchi High Court has suspended the sentence of the accused and released them on bail.
"When these people got bail, they came to my house, I wished them well. Let the law take its own course in the future, the accused will be punished and those innocent will be set free," said Sinha, who represents the Hazaribagh seat in Lok Sabha.
A Ramgarh Court had sentenced 11 accused, in connection with the Alimuddin murder case in Ramgarh district to a lifetime in prison. Alimuddin, also known as Asgar Ansari, was intercepted by a mob and beaten to death in June last year over suspicions of transporting beef in his vehicle near Bazartand village. The mob later set the vehicle ablaze. Following the lynching incident, section 144 was imposed in Ramgarh.