A Kashmiri University student, Aqib Malik, who led pro-freedom protests at the varsity campus earlier this month, has gone missing under mysterious circumstances –triggering protests. Students are alleging that Malik, a third semester student in the Law Department was “picked up by government forces.” He has been missing since February 21. When he left the campus for home in Shopian area of south Kashmir. His disappearance has triggered protests in Kashmir University. Witnesses said Malik was last seen on February 21 outside KU campus near the main gate. When he didn’t reach his residence till the next morning, his family lodged a complaint with the police.
Sources say during investigations police tracked his phone details and learnt that Aqib had reached Batamaloo bus-stand where his mobile switched off at around 5:00 PM on the day of his disappearance. Since then his whereabouts are not known while his phone continues to be off.
Aqib shot to some fame on social media on February 14 when he led pro-freedom protests at the KU campus and addressed the protesting students there. The protest video and his speech had gone viral. His fellow students say since then Aqib had been telling them that he was being “constantly threatened by some forces.” “He would even move around in the campus with his face covered lest he is recognised,” said his friend.
But a senior police official have refused allegations about Malik being picked up by them. “He was neither required nor was ever called. When no other student(who protested on that day has been called), why he alone would be picked up? He seems to be suffering some kind of paranoia. We got to know from his colleagues that he aspired to be like Kanhaiya Kumar, the ex-president of the JNUSU and the face of last year’s campus unrest in JNU. May be he has gone into hiding for publicity,” the police official told InUth.
Police says it was trying to ascertain his whereabouts from his contact details on mobile. “But the problem is that he has over 350 active contacts across Kashmir so investigations are taking some time.” Meanwhile Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar Imtiaz Ismail said Malik has not been arrested and that police would soon issue a formal handout in this regard.