Kochi: Nearly 48 hours after Ernakulam Central Circle Inspector V.S. Navas went missing, the state police traced him at Karur in Tamil Nadu on Saturday morning. An officer from the Railway Protection Force (RPF) identified him at Madurai railway station and alerted the state police.
A police team from Palakkad took him from Karur and handed him over to Kochi City Police. He was produced before Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate P.P. Priya Chand later in the day. He joined his family after some official formalities. City police commissioner IG Vijay Sakhare expressed happiness over the development and said the investigation into the matter will continue.
Meanwhile, DGP Loknath Behera said that he will personally meet the officer and talk to him. Navas had gone missing after an argument with a senior cop over wireless on Wednesday night.
Stewart Keeler, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Thrikkakara, said that the police received information about him travelling in a train around 3 a.m. The Tamil Nadu police sent his photograph immediately to the state police leading to his identification.
According to sources, the officer had told his friends that he had gone to Rameshwaram to meet his friend.
It was one Sunil Kumar, an RPF officer on duty at the Madurai railway station platform, who identified the officer around 2 a.m. Sunil Kumar told the police that Navas sought his help to go to Coimbatore. He showed him the Nagercoil -Coimbatore Express and Navas boarded the train. On suspicion that the person was the missing police officer, Sunil checked his phone to find the information about Navas. He alerted the Kerala and Tamil Nadu police about the compartment in which Navas was travelling. Following this, the officer was stopped at Karoor on the way.
It was around 5 a.m. on Thursday Navas went missing from his home at Thevara. He had a heated exchange over wireless communication with ACP Suresh after Navas was found absent during a roll call at 11 p.m. on Wednesday. The same could be heard by other police personnel too. The CI was visibly sad after the episode. The officer told his co-workers that he was relinquishing his post and even returned equipment such as wireless set and phone SIM card to the police station late on Wednesday.
‘Went in search of peace’
A few hours after Navas was traced, he posted an apology on Facebook regarding the incident. “My apologies. I went in search of mental peace when I thought my mind would be lost. Now, I am on my way back,” the post read. It is learnt that he was travelling back with the police officials from Palakkad when he posted that comment. It appeared on his Facebook wall in the morning.
A number of people expressed happiness over his return. On Thursday morning before leaving home, he had sent a text message to his wife from his personal phone number saying that he was leaving and asked her not to worry.
Meanwhile, his family heaved a sigh of relief over his return. “We were very afraid, but are relieved now,” Navas’s daughter told the media in the morning. His relative Akbar also expressed happiness over the news....