Hunt on for the missing police officer

Kochi-based inspector untraceable after an altercation with senior

A State-wide search is on for the Central station inspector V.S. Navas, who had gone missing from his quarters at Thevara in the early hours of Thursday.

Though the Commissioner of Police (Kochi City) Vijay Sakhare had formed a special team led by J. Poonkuzhali, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), to probe the case in the wake of a petitioned lodged by the missing officer’s wife, effectively three teams, including a shadow team, are on the ground.

“The number of teams is immaterial as the entire police machinery is at work on formal and informal levels to trace our missing colleague. Inspectors belonging to Mr. Navas’s batch are at on the job besides flying squads at the district level. Information is being shared among police personnel through social media platforms. The priority is to find him,” said an officer familiar with the ongoing probe.

The police had so far been able to track down the movement of Mr. Navas up to Kollam. A CCTV footage showed him on a KSRTC bus in Kollam where he had reportedly alighted. Another CCTV footage had shown him getting off from the car of a colleague near Kayamkulam bus stand.

He had travelled in the car between Cherthala and Kayamkulam from where he had reportedly took the Kollam bus. This was after the police received a CCTV footage of the officer withdrawing cash from an ATM near Thevara before he left.

Meanwhile, the senior official with whom Mr. Navas had a heated exchange over the wireless on the night before he had gone missing was summoned by the probe team on Friday evening for ascertaining the sequence of events leading up to the missing.

“It was not an official interrogation but a normal measure to get the sequence of events. As of now, there were no grounds for qualifying his action as harassment but only a normal departmental procedure. However, a detailed inquiry will be held later after finding the missing official,” the officer said.

It is learnt that the missing official had reportedly told his driver that he was disturbed and that he would return after 10 days though that claim was yet to be verified since his wife had earlier in the day said that she had no idea as to whom her husband had said so.

Mr. Navas being religious man, the police also had a look at various mosques though it proved futile. In fact, a relative said that the family was hoping to hear from him on having a change of heart after the Friday prayers.

When that hope receded, his wife spoke to mediapersons, many of whom had been camping since Thursday at the police quarters where she was staying.

Sources said that there was no way to ascertain whether he had left the State borders since both his mobile phones were switched off since 6.15 a.m. on Thursday.

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