‘Breaks my heart, not my spirit’, Jamia cancels Safoora’s MPhil admission

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Jamia Millia Islamia on Monday, 29 August, cancelled the MPhil admission of student activist and research scholar Safoora Zargar.

Zargar, from Kishtwar, Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, best known for her role in the Citizenship Amendment Act protests, shared the letter in a tweet and said, “The usually snail-paced Jamia admin moving at light speed to cancel my admission, foregoing all due process. Let it be known, it breaks my heart but not my spirit.”

A few days earlier, the 29-year-old Muslim activist had said that her application for an extension of Mphil thesis submission has been put on hold for over eight months. “As if now I don’t know the status of my admission and nothing has been communicated to me,” Zargar had told the media.

Zargar’s Mphil, which she began in February 2019, looks into “socio-spatial segregation among Muslims in Delhi. A case study of Ghaffar Manzil Colony”.

She worked under associate professor Kulwinder Kaur and completed three years in February 2022, with one COVID extension and a normal extension available for all scholars.

In December 2021, Zargar submitted an application for a COVID extension, in which the department only granted two months — till February 2022.

In May 2022, India’s University Grants Commission declared that universities and higher educational institutions can give another extension of up to six months beyond 30 June for MPhil or PhD thesis submission on a case-to-case basis after reviewing a student’s work. This was the fifth COVID extension granted to research scholars.

Zargar described her experience as “traumatic” and claims that she has faced lots of verbal abuse from the department in the last two years.—KMS

 

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