Jamia bars Safoora entry for ‘protesting on irrelevant issues’

Jamia Millia Islamia has banned the entry of former MPhil student Safoora Zargar into its campus on the grounds of her organising protests and demonstrations there on “irrelevant and objectionable issues”.

Zargar (29) is an accused in the main conspiracy case in the Northeast Delhi riots and was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

She had been enrolled with the department of sociology in their integrated MPhil and PhD programme since 2019. On August 26, the Dean Faculty of Social Sciences issued a notice stating that her registration from the programme has been cancelled because she did not submit her MPhil dissertation within the maximum stipulated time of five semesters along with an additional semester of Covid extension, and her supervisor’s report which stated that her progress was “unsatisfactory”.

Now, the university’s proctor has issued an order banning her entry into the campus.

“It has been observed that Ms Safoora Zargar (ex-student) has been involved in organising protests and marches on the campus against 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 for her malafide political agenda along with some others. Further, she is hampering the normal functioning of the institution,” states the order.

Since the withdrawal of Zargar’s admission, there have been protests on the campus demanding its withdrawal. The institute has maintained that Zargar’s progress with her dissertation was unsatisfactory that she did not complete it within the stipulated time and she did not apply for an extension available to women students within the stipulated time.

Apart from Zargar, the institute has instituted a similar ban on two other former students. It is also learnt that it has issued show cause notices to multiple students for staging protests supporting Zargar.

In this, the university has invoked an order issued on August 29 disallowing gatherings of students on the campus “without prior permission of the Proctor”.

“… you have been found on the forefront of the unauthorised gatherings of students several times against irrelevant and objectionable issues, which disturbed the peaceful academic environment of the university,” the notices state, demanding responses from students asking why disciplinary action should not be taken against them.

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