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Nodal poll officer, in charge of EVMs, goes missing in WBengal

Krishnagar: A nodal officer of the Election Commission in charge of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verified paper audit trails (VVPATs) posted at Krishnagar under Ranaghat parliamentary constituency of West Bengal is missing for over 24 hours, police said Friday. Arnab Roy (30) left his official quarters here for his poll duty at Bipradas Choudhury Polytechnic College Thursday morning but was not spotted since afternoon, a senior Nadia police officer said. His vehicle was, however, found parked outside the college here, he said.

Election Commission special observer in West Bengal Ajay Naik told journalists, “I have been told that he is not around. But I think his missing has something to do with his personal life.”

Sources in Nadia district police said that his two mobile phones are switched off and their last location was detected to be near Shantipur.

“After Shantipur his location could not be detected, as his phones were switched off. This is making it difficult for us to locate him,” another police officer said.

Initial investigation revealed that Roy, had an alleged tiff with Nadia District Magistrate Sumit Gupta, who was also his neighbour, a few days ago on some operational duties in connection with the elections.

When contacted, Gupta denied having any altercation with Roy. “Whoever has told you such a thing has given wrong information. Nothing has happened between us. We have initiated a search for him,” Gupta said.

After a failed search, the district administration lodged a complaint with the kotwali police station at Krishnanagar, the police officer said. Roy’s wife too lodged a complaint.

Election Commission sources said that a report was sought from the district magistrate on Roy going missing and a replacement in place of Roy has been already made.

Ranaghat parliamentary constituency, considered to be a stronghold of Trinamool Congress, will go to polls of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in the fourth phase on April 29.

 

 

 

 

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