A 22-year-old student from Haryana doing his postgraduate law from the London School of Economics (LSE) claimed that he was disqualified from contesting the student union elections on allegations of being "homophobic, Islamophobic, queerphobic and Hindu Nationalist". Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has now written to the LSE seeking its intervention.
"I have been informed that this disqualification was not substantiated with reasons and was instead due to discrimination on account of race and beliefs. I could sense that his mother was in severe mental distress when his mother and sister came to meet me," the Chief Minister said in his letter.
"Mr Kataria is a brilliant student as evidenced by his admission to your prestigious Institute. Due to the recent events, he has been feeling unsafe within
the Institute Campus. In such a situation, it is necessary that the administration steps in and takes care of his safety and well-being," he further said.
"I could sense that his mother was in severe mental distress when his mother and sister came to meet me," he also said. Khattar further wrote that he was concerned "that this incident and its effects will affect Kataria's studies".
LSE President Vice Chancellor-elect, Eric Neumayer, wrote back to Khattar and said that they are investigating the matter. "The SU (student union) has informed us that a candidate was disqualified from the leadership election for breaking election rules, and we understand an external review of the election proceedings will take place in due course," he said, adding that they are monitoring the situation closely.
The student thanked the minister for his intervention and said, "I am a proud Bharatiya, and your support means a lot to me and my family."