Police in Visakhapatnam arrested J. Appa Rao on receiving information that he has links with the Maoists. Visakhapatnam rural police said Rao was suspected to be involved in supplying explosives to the extremists.
A police officer said they would present Rao before media by Thursday evening.
His arrest was announced Thursday morning, a few hours after the assistant professor's family lodged a complaint that unidentified people kidnapped him from his house in university staff quarters.
Rao's wife complained that few people came in a car around 2 a.m. and took him away. Appa Rao is said to be a rights activist who used to actively participate in various movements for the protection of rights of tribals.