Hundreds of Jamia Millia Islamia students gathered inside the campus premise Tuesday to protest the varsity’s decision to arbitrarily cancel the MPhil admission of the research scholar and iconic student leader of anti-CAA protest, Safoora Zargar.
Zargar and other students called Jamia Admin’s move “discriminatory” as she was at the forefront of several protests.
Zargar’s admission was canceled by the Department of Sociology in the university, citing “unsatisfactory” progress in her thesis work. Zargar enrolled with the Department of Sociology in the integrated MPhil/Ph.D. program in 2019.
Zargar, along with various student organisations, including the Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO), the Muslim Students Federation (MSF), the Fraternity Movement, the Campus Front of India, the DISSC, the AIRSO, the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) joined the protest.
Addressing the students, Safoora Zargar said: “If I see any students of Jamia in the next days, I will ask them if they were able to keep the dissenting voices of your predecessors or if they killed it. I will ask them. You are answerable to us. You are answerable to Shifa-ur-Rahman who is in jail. You are answerable to Meeran Haider who is in Jail. You are answerable to Umar Khalid, who is in jail for 2 years.”
The students raised slogans such as “we stand with Safoora Zargar,” “down with the Jamia administration” and “down with (Vice Chancellor) Najma Akhtar”.
“There is no reason not to give her (Zargar) an extension. The university is intentionally targeting her and making her submission impossible. It is saying that her progress is not satisfactory, which is quite arbitrary,” said SIO national secretary Rameses E K.
On Monday, while the protest was called by several parties, the Jamia Millia Islamia administration in no time released an office memorandum declaring the total prohibition of any political gatherings inside the campus.
“It has been observed that some students who are associated with different political parties use the campus for their political agenda. Every now and then, they hold protests, dharnas, and boycott campaigns on the campus for their malafide and political interests,” read the memorandum.