Students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) squatted on tracks at the Railway station in Aligarh protesting "failure" of Delhi Police to trace missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, who has been missing for 76 days.
A number of AMU students later courted arrest when police used mild force to foil their attempt to block movement of trains and vehicles on main roads.
District Magistrate Rajmani Yadav said the exact number of those detained was being ascertained.
AMU Students' Union has already demanded a CBI inquiry into Ahmed's mysterious disappearance.
The students' union President Faizul Hasan has accused the Modi government of protecting ABVP leaders in this connection.
The union in a memorandum sent to President Pranab Mukherjee alleged that instead of trying to trace Ahmed, police was harassing the family of the missing student and shielding criminals.
Ahmed, an MSc Biotechnology student, went missing on October 15 after a scuffle allegedly with ABVP affiliated students at his hostel on the JNU campus.