KOCHI: A massive manhunt has been launched for a Circle Inspector of city police station who had gone missing after he allegedly had an argument with his senior officer.
South police registered a man missing case under Section 57 of the Kerala Police Act after Ernakulam Central circle inspector VS Navas’ wife lodged a complaint that he was missing since Thursday morning.
Police officers said Navas had an argument with his superior officer on Wednesday over an official issue and an exchange of words took place between them.
Navas was absent during a roll call around 11 pm on Wednesday and his superior, Ernakulam Assistant Commissioner P S Suresh, sought an explanation from him in this regard. There was also a heated exchange of words between the two on wireless sets.
Following the incident, Navas did not turn up for duty on Thursday. His wireless set and official SIM card were found at his office.
“There was an argument between the officers. But we don’t know whether that was the exact reason for his disappearance,” said a senior police officer.
Navas, a native of Cherthala, had returned to his quarters at Thevara around 5 am and left the quarters without telling his wife. He had been staying there with his mother, wife and daughter. He had reportedly sent a WhatsApp message to his wife early on Thursday morning saying “Going on a journey. Don’t worry.” This was the last communication from the police officer to his family.
“His wife saw the WhatsApp message when she woke up. She panicked and tried to contact him on his number but couldn’t,” said an officer.
The incident has caused major embarrassment to the city police as it was on Thursday that IG Vijay Sakhare assumed office as the first City Police Commissioner after the state government elevated Kochi police to a commissionerate policing system.
Vijay Sakhare said a special team led by Kochi DCP G Poonguzhali and comprising Thrikkakara ACP Stwart Keeler and Palarivattom SHO Sreejesh PS has been formed to investigate the case.
Meanwhile, P S Suresh said no other conversation apart from official matters was discussed with the officer on Wednesday night.
“He was absent during the roll call for which I sought an explanation from him. It’s a routine official affair and I don’t think that could be a reason for someone to abscond,” said Suresh. Navas, who has a good official track record, is known to be a straightforward and efficient officer. He was posted as Central CI from Mararikulam during the reshuffle for general elections.