Akhilesh,Azam Khan boycott Harvard eventhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/akhilesh-azam-khan-boycott-harvard-event/

Akhilesh,Azam Khan boycott Harvard event

Akhilesh,along with Azam and others,left for the US on April 24 and were due to return on April 29.

To protest against the alleged misbehaviour with Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Minister Azam Khan at Logan International Airport at Boston,Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Khan on Friday boycotted an event at Harvard University for which they had gone to the US. Instead,state government officials,led by Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani,attended the function and made the presentation on Kumbh Mela.

Afaq Ahmed,Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Khan,said,“We are not attending the Harvard University function. We are very much disturbed due to the incident at the airport. Our minister was humiliated. It is an insult.’’

Ahmed,who is part of the team of officials,was reached over the phone at a hotel in Boston.

Instead of attending the function,the CM,Azam and Abhishek Mishra,Minister of State for Science and Technology,left for New York where they will stay for the night and leave for India on Saturday.

The Harvard India Student Group in Harvard University had invited Akhilesh and Azam for a panel discussion with students,which was scheduled for Friday. The conversation was to cover topics such as vision of the state,leadership,governance and major initiatives being run,Kumbh festival,urbanisation challenges and how Harvard students can engage with the state government to contribute to the Indian society.

Akhilesh,along with Azam and others,left for the US on April 24 and were due to return on April 29.

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Upon reaching Logan International Airport at Boston,Azam was allegedly detained for questioning. His office at Lucknow issued a statement late on Thursday night,stating that Khan was insulted,humiliated and harassed by officials at the airport despite holding a diplomatic passport. It also mentioned that authorities behaved with him in this manner because he is a Muslim.

The Indian Embassy has raised the issue with the US State Department. “The issue has been taken up with the State Department,” Indian Embassy spokesman,M Sridharan,told PTI in response to a question if the embassy was aware of the incident at Boston airport. (With PTI inputs)

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