Rahul Backs Petition to Cancel Jayant’s Harvard Alumnus Status

Sinha had courted controversy when he feted eight criminals, convicted for killing a cattle trader.

2 min read
MoS for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, 10 July, came down heavily on the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha, for garlanding eight men convicted of lynching a man in Jharkhand.

The Gandhi scion took to Twitter and invited support to a petition, started by a 2018 graduate from Harvard University, saying if the sight of a highly educated MP and Central government minister, "garlanding criminals convicted of lynching an innocent man fills you with disgust," support this plea.

At the time of publishing this news, the petition had garnered the support of 5562 people. The petition mentioned that the minister’s actions “shocked the nation and brought disrepute to our institution” (Harvard). The petitioner, then, demanded the institute withdraw Jayant’s status as an alumnus.

A screenshot of the petition started by a 2018 Harvard graduate, Prateek Kanwal.
A screenshot of the petition started by a 2018 Harvard graduate, Prateek Kanwal.
(Photo: Change.org)

The Union Minister had, on 29 June, courted controversy when he feted eight criminals, sentenced to life imprisonment for killing a cattle trader, Alimuddin Ansari in Ramgarh. The eight men secured bail from the Jharkhand High Court in June 2018, three months after a fast-track court found them guilty.

Days later, Jayant's father and former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha, targeted him, saying that earlier he was the nalayak baap (unworthy father) of a layak beta (worthy son). "Now the roles are reversed. This is Twitter. I do not approve of my son's action," he tweeted.

When the minister came under fire from all quarters, he sought to dissipate the controversy, saying that he “condemned” all acts of violence. "When these people were granted bail, they came to my residence, and I wished them well. Let the law take its own course. The guilty will be punished, and the innocent will be set free," The Times of India quoted Jayant as saying.

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