Aqib Ahmad Malik, a Kashmir University (KU) student get arrested by Jammu & Kashmir Police on Saturday in connection with a 2018 case filed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967.

Malik(26) is pursuing a post-graduate degree in biochemistry at KU but was at home for over three months because of the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in the Kashmir Valley.

He is a resident of south Kashmir’s Shopian district and was summoned to Nigeen police station in Srinagar near KU on Friday and was arrested a day later.

“Malik has been arrested in a 2018 case under the UAPA,” said Gowhar Ahmad, station house officer (SHO), Nigeen police station.

He was booked under Section 13 (a person who advocates, abets, advises or incites the commission of, any unlawful activity) of the UAPA, 1967.

Sudhanshu Verma, superintendent of police (SP), Hazratbal, said Malik was arrested after collecting evidence in the case against him.

“We wouldn’t have arrested him without any evidence. It took a while because of the prevailing pandemic,” SP Verma said.

Malik’s family members said that they suspected the case was related to a protest he had held in a hostel of KU against the poor quality of food. They are travelling to Srinagar to meet him.

“He was at home for the past three months and was called by SHO Nigeen to reach the police station, where he was arrested. He had protested in2018 against the bad quality of food served at the KU hostel,” said Faizan Mushtaq, younger brother of Malik.

“He had raised his voice against corruption in the varsity and that is why he has been arrested,” he added.

KU officials said that the case was not filed by the varsity authorities. “The university has been closed owing to the Covid-19 outbreak and all classes have been suspended. He is a student at the university and appeared for an examination recently. It is a 2018 case lodged at Nigeen police station. We have not filed any case against him. Hostel issues are always confined to the university,” said Nisar Ahmad Mir, registrar, KU.

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