Safoora Zargar’s registration as a sociology graduate student at the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) university in New Delhi has been canceled. The Committee is concerned by the appearance of retaliation against her over her activism against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019, which she saw as discriminatory against Muslims.
September 15, 2022
President of the Republic of India
New Delhi, 110004
Republic of India
Phone: 91 11 2301 5321
Dear President Murmu:
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers, and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We are writing in regard to Safoora Zargar, a now former sociology graduate student at the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University in New Delhi. Her registration as a student was canceled last month, supposedly for not being able to complete her dissertation within five semesters. This termination has happened despite the fact that she had to contend with COVID-19 as well as being pregnant, being in police detention, and being mired in legal matters over her activism in 2020.
The Committee is concerned by the appearance of retaliation against her over her activism against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019, which she saw as discriminatory against Muslims. This sort of retaliation appears to be a recurring pattern of suppressing students and faculty who protest against this law.
We write to urge your government to reinvestigate her claims that she had not been granted the COVID-19 related extensions she should have been and that her applications for extensions were ignored. She should be allowed to reenter the program and complete her studies. Even the appearance of political motivation should concern your government.
Thank you for your attention to this serious matter. We will be closely following developments in this case.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Minister of External Affairs
Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India
South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi, Delhi, India 110001
Phone: (202) 647-4000
Antony J. Blinken
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520 USA
Phone: (202) 647-4000
H.E. Taranjit Singh Sandhu
Embassy of the Republic of India
2107 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 1 202 939 7000
Fax: 1 202 265 4351
Patricia A. Lacina
United States Embassy – New Delhi
Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, 110021