His friends say Aqib had been in distress since he addressed a protest at the campus recently against ‘atrocities in Kashmir’
Srinagar: Protests rocked Kashmir University campus on Thursday after the disappearance of a post-graduate student Aqib Mushtaq Malik on Tuesday evening.
A 3rd semester LLB student at Department of Law, Malik, according to his university friends, was last time seen at Habbak at around 3:15pm when he was on way to his rented accommodation in the same area.
The protesting students alleged that Aqib, a resident of Pinjoora Shopian, was apprehended by government agencies as he had told them that some people had been following him since the day he addressed a student gathering at the varsity that was organized to protest civilian killings in Kulgam district of south Kashmir.
“He was depressed and frustrated. After that video in which he was giving a speech at the varsity went viral on social media, he used to say that ‘something is going happen to me’. He was terrified but never revealed anything except sensing a threat to his life,” a group of students told Kashmir Reader.
They claimed that he was sought by Chief Proctor of Kashmir University who had warned him not to repeat such kind of activity in future.
Zahoor Ahmad, Aqib’s brother, told Kashmir Reader, “The day he went missing he called and said he was ‘extremely terrified’ in Srinagar and wants to come home for a few days.”
“I was concerned about his condition and immediately asked him to come so he could feel better here. But in the evening when we tried to call him his phone was switched off. We contacted his friends but they all were unaware of his whereabouts,” Ahmad said.
A close friend of Aqib, who requested anonymity, said that at around 3 pm he offered Aqib a bike ride to his rented accommodation but “he refused and waited for a Sumo”.
“His facial expressions were clearly indicating that he was not feeling good. The following day I heard news of his disappearance,” he said.
Two more friends of Aqib who were accompanying him in a private cab when he was travelling towards to his rented accommodation told Kashmir Reader that he didn’t talk much till he reached his destination.
“That day he looked different than he used to be at varsity. He was a cheerful boy but he certainly was in distress after that speech,” they said.
Many among the protesters believe Aqib could have been picked up for raising voice against atrocities in Kashmir.
Naseer Iqbal, Chief Proctor KU, told Kashmir Reader the entire varsity administration has been troubled by the disappearance of Aqib and every effort is being made to find him.
“It was shocking for me to hear the news of disappearance of university student. As soon as I heard about it I immediately rushed to Nigeen police station and lodged a missing FIR. I apprised other varsity officials about the incident,” Iqbal said.
He said, “As per police the last location he was at was Batamaloo.”
Public Relations Officer at the varsity Faheem Aslam said that vice-chancellor personally wrote a letter to the Chief Minister, Governor and Director General of Police (DGP), seeking their immediate intervention into the incident.
“But the police confirmed to us they have not picked any university student. Moreover, the VC himself met students and assured them of every possible help to locate the student,” Aslam said.
A police handout issued here said that a missing report was lodged with Police Station Nigeen and efforts are being made find Aqib.
“As reported by the Proctor, University of Kashmir on 22.02.2017 that Aqib Mushtaq Malik son of Mushtaq Ahmad a resident of Pinjura Shopian, student of 3rd Semester of LLB University of Kashmir was missing from 21-02-2017 evening,” it said.
The statement said that some of the students have alleged that the missing student was picked by police. “The allegations are refuted as the missing student was not required for any investigation by police. It has sought cooperation from student’s relatives and his friends in tracing out the said student at the earliest,” the handout said.
Meanwhile, expressing concern over the disappearance of a Kashmir University (KU) student, Aqib Mushtaq, Hurriyat Conference (M) Thursday termed the protest demonstration of varsity students demanding student’s whereabouts as justified, reasonable and legitimate.
In a statement, the spokesman said, “Kashmiri students have often been at the receiving end of atrocities and harassment while the just demands of these students are meted with excessive use of force by government forces. He said it is the duty of the government to trace the whereabouts of disappeared student.”