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Indian-origin student accuses London varsity of discrimination

The University issued a statement rejecting the accusations and stating that the student's body operates in a fair and democratic manner and has zero tolerance towards harassment and bullying.

Karan Kataria (Image: Twitter/@karanatLSE)

Indian-origin student Karan Kataria pursuing his law degree at the London School of Economics (LSE) has accused the institution of discrimination on the basis of religion and anti-India rhetoric. He claimed he was disqualified from the LSE Students' Union (LSESU) elections on baseless allegations without being given a chance to represent his case.

The 22-year-old Haryana native who was running for post of General Secretary in the Student's Union, said in a post on social media, "Unfortunately, some individuals could not bear to see an Indian-Hindu lead the LSESU and resorted to vilifying my character and very identity in what was clearly in line with the alarming cancel culture which is uprooting our social communities."

Hailing from a middle-class agricultural family, Kataria shared that he is a first-generation university-level graduate in his family and wanted to contribute to student welfare by being a Union member. "But my dreams were shattered when a deliberately orchestrated smear campaign was launched against me solely because of my Indian and Hindu identity, " he wrote.

Kataria further revealed that Indian students were targeted on polling day. However, the LSESU brushed it aside when they raised concerns about being bullied for their national and Hindu religious identities, he mentioned."The silent treatment of the students’ complaints about such unacceptable behaviour also justifies the accusation of Hinduphobia against the LSESU."

The LSESU issued a statement that the body operates in a fair and democratic manner and has zero tolerance towards harassment and bullying. “Unfortunately, this year the election rules have been breached by a candidate, resulting in LSESU taking the difficult decision to disqualify him from this year’s Leadership Race for the position of General Secretary,” it added.

"We are confident that all decisions were followed according to due process and best practice. However, given the impact this experience has had on some of the candidates involved, we will be conducting an external review this time around and will endeavor to update the community accordingly," it further said.