Outrage in AMU over Teacher and Students Vilifying Pregnant Jamia Scholar

There is an outrage among the students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) after it came to light that two of their fellow students and an AMU teacher have made disgusting remarks on pregnant Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) scholar Safoora Zargar. Zargar is currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail for her alleged involvement in the February 2020 North-East Delhi pogrom, and the screenshots began doing rounds on social media.

According to screenshots of Facebook posts and comments doing round on social media, AMU students Nikhil Maheshwari and Arjun Chakra Gaur are allegedly seen making disgusting comments character-assassinating Zargar. Maheshwari, who is allegedly a Research Scholar in AMU’s Department of Biochemistry, congratulates all the “Tukde Tukde gang, Leftists, Lal Salaam, Azaadi Gang and Terrorists of India and Pakistan” for Zargar’s pregnancy. In the screenshot doing rounds, he also character-assassinates Zargar for “misusing freedom”.

Screenshots of comments against Jamia scholar by Maheshwari and Gaur
Screenshots of comments against Jamia scholar by Maheshwari and Gaur

Gaur, who is allegedly an intern at AMU’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC), in a comment blames the Shaheen Bagh protestors for “population explosion”. He also allegedly calls for the pregnancy test of other protesters.

Demands of AMU students against the comments
lDemands of AMU students against the comments

AMU students have started an email campaign to university proctor demanding the suspension of these two students and an AMU teacher for “defamatory and ill-intentioned remarks about Safoora Zargar, a JMI student and an activist who is currently undergoing an unjust term in prison.” They urged the proctor to “suspend both of these students immediately for their degrading remarks against a pregnant woman unjustly imprisoned.” In the email, they also asked the Proctor to take appropriate legal action against them.

According to other screenshots doing round, Priti Bala, an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science, AMU allegedly retweeted a tweet character-assassinating Safoora Zargar and other members of “Tukde Tukde gang” as well. In another tweet, the AMU teacher is also seen promoting a boycott of Muslims.

Associate Prof. at AMU retweeting vilifying tweets against Safoora
Associate Prof. at AMU retweeting vilifying tweets against Safoora

Subsequent to her arrest, trolls on social media started regularly made similar extremely misogynist allegations and comments on Safoora. They falsely alleged that Safoora Zargar is unmarried and became pregnant during the Shaheen Bagh protests against CAA and NRC. Shaheen Bagh, a locality near JMI in Delhi, made international headlines for 24×7 sit-in against CAA and NRC. 

The Delhi Commission for women had earlier taken cognizance of trolling and sought information from Delhi Police’s Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) about the actions taken against the trolls. 

Zargar, 27, who is in the second trimester of her first pregnancy, was arrested by Delhi police on 12 April. The police claim that she was involved in the pogrom that swept various areas of North-East Delhi in February earlier this year. She was subsequently lodged in Tihar jail. Zargar was the Media Coordinator of the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) which had led the protest against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019 in Delhi’s JMI.

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