Kolkata: A nodal election officer, identified as Arnab Roy, has gone missing since Thursday from Nadia district in West Bengal.
Roy, 30, was posted at Bipradas Pal Choudhury Polytechnic College for poll duty on April 18. He was in-charge of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) in the Ranaghat parliamentary constituency.
Around 2pm on Thursday, the officer went for lunch and since then, he is untraceable. Sources in Nadia district police said his two mobile phones were switched off and their last location was detected to be near Shantipur.
His vehicle was, however, found parked outside the college here, a senior police officer said.
The incident has sent ripples across the local administration ahead of the fourth phase of election on April 29 in Nadia district, consisting of Ranaghat and Krishnanagar parliamentary constituencies.
The State Election Commission has asked the district magistrate to look into the matter.
District Magistrate (Nadia) Sumit Gupta said, “So far, we are clueless about his whereabouts. Police are looking into the matter. Investigating officers are tracking his phones. They are also going through the CCTV footage of the area.”
Election Commission Special Observer in Bengal Ajay Naik told reporters, “I have been told that he is not around. But I think his missing has something to do with his personal life.”
Initial investigation revealed that Roy, had an alleged tiff with the district magistrate, who was also his neighbour, a few days ago on some operational duties in connection with the elections.
Gupta, however, denied having any altercation with Roy. “Whoever has told you such a thing has given a wrong information. Nothing has happened between us. We have initiated a search for him,” Gupta told PTI.
After a failed search, the district administration lodged a complaint with the kotwali police station at Krishnanagar, a police officer said. Roy's wife too lodged a complaint.
EC sources said a report was sought from the district magistrate on Roy going missing and a replacement in place of Roy has been already made.
(With inputs from PTI)