NEW DELHI: Signatures are pouring in on a letter (now being circulated as a petition) to the President of Harvard University, Lawrence Bacow urging him to withdraw the alumni status of Minister Jayant Sinha. And alongside issue an official letter strongly condemning the Ministers decision to felictate persons convicted of lynching Alimuddin Ansari on the suspicion of carrying beef in his car.

The letter written by Prateek Kanwal, Master of Public Policy, 2018, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University is now being circulated widely with signatures of support that will be sent to Dr Bacow soon. Kanwal wrote that the action by the Minister have shocked India and “brought disrepute to our great institution.” And that as a “responsible citizen of the country and as an Alumni of Harvard I strongly condemn these actions and ask the Harvard University to withdraw his Alumni status.”

Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, recently garlanded and felicitated eight of the 11 convicts who were released on bail by the Jharkhand High Court, after being convicted with life sentences by a fast track court. Sinha, who is the son of former Union Minister and current BJP dissident, Yashwant Sinha has been supporting and defending the convicts for a while now. He has tweeted in their defense and stood by the photographs where he is seen feeding sweets to them. After the first eight, the rest have also been released.

The government has stood by Sinha in both the centre and the state, meeting the anger and the criticism by Opposition parties as well with silence.Congress President Rahul Gandhi has also urged Harvard University to withdraw Sinha’s alumnus status.

Kanwal sent the letter to the President, Harvard University on July 10, 2018 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.”

The full text of the letter is as follows: