'Instigating students': Jamia Millia Islamia bans Safoora Zargar from entering campus

Updated on Sep 17, 2022 05:57 PM IST

Safoora Zargar was jailed under the UAPA in the alleged conspiracy case related to the Delhi riots and was released on bail in June 2020 on humanitarian and medical grounds.

Research scholar and activist Safoora Zargar.
Research scholar and activist Safoora Zargar.
By | Written by Aniruddha Dhar, New Delhi

Jamia Millia Islamia has banned research scholar and activist Safoora Zargar from entering the university campus days after the administration cancelled her MPhil admission. Zargar was jailed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the alleged conspiracy case related to the Delhi riots and was released on bail in June 2020 on humanitarian and medical grounds.

After she was removed as a student on August 19, Zargar and other Jamia students had been participating in protests demanding that she be re-admitted and that she be given an extension to submit her thesis.

“It has been observed that Ms. Safoora Zargar (ex student) has been involved in organizing agitations, protests and marches on the campus against the irrelevant and objectionable issues to disturb the peaceful academic environment with few students who are mostly outsiders. She is instigating innocent students of the University and trying to use the University platform for her malafide political agenda alongwith some other students. Further, she is hampering the normal functioning of the institution.In view of above, the Competent Authority, for maintaining peaceful academic environment across the Campus, has approved Campus Ban on ex student Ms. Safoora Zargar with immediate effect,” the order reads.

Her admission was cancelled 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/PhD programme in 2019.

In a notification dated August 26, the office of the dean, faculty of social science, said Zargar did not submit her MPhil dissertation within the maximum stipulated time of five semesters.

The dean's office has maintained that the action against her was taken on a recommendation made by the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) on July 5. The matter was approved by the department's Board of Studies on August 22.

Zargar had earlier said she was being denied extensions for submission of her thesis while they were being extended for other scholars. She said she received only one Covid extension while the University Grants Commission (UGC) offered five.

The UGC has granted four extensions for submission of MPhil and PhD thesis to help scholars make up for time lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest such extension was granted in May. Universities were allowed to give another extension of up to six months beyond June 30.

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