Activist Sandeep Pandey returns PhD degree to UC Berkeley over US stand on Gaza conflict

New Delhi, Mar 26 (PTI) Social activist Sandeep Pandey has officially returned his PhD degree to University of California (UC), Berkeley in protest against the stand of the United States in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.

In January, Pandey had announced his decision to return the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award, bestowed upon him in 2002, as a mark of protest against the “role” of the US in the Israeli attack in Gaza.

He has also returned his dual MSc degrees to Syracuse University over the issue.

In the two letters written to these universities, a copy of which has been shared with PTI, Pandey said the "role" of the US in the ongoing Israel-Palestine war is "deplorable".

"I believe that US could have played the role of a mediator to bring an end to the war and sought a permanent solution to the problem by getting the status of an independent nation accorded to Palestine, but instead it has continued to militarily blindly support Israel in its aggression on Palestinians which resulted in killing of thousands of innocent including children," he wrote.

It is difficult to believe that the US stands for democracy and human rights, he added.

Pandey requested removal of his name from all records of the University of California, Berkeley, and made a similar request to the Syracuse University from where he did his dual MSc degrees.

According to reports, Israel’s invasion has killed more than 32,000 people in Gaza.

On Monday, the UN Security Council finally managed to pass a resolution calling for a cease-fire as the US abstained instead of vetoing the measure, angering Israel in a major escalation of tensions between the two close allies. The resolution calls for the release of all hostages held in Gaza but does not condition the cease-fire on it.

The US had vetoed previous UN resolutions calling for a cease-fire. PTI UZM UZM KVK KVK

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