Though elections in North Bengal on Monday were peaceful with reports of no clashes, it had its share of deaths.
While polling officer Maneshwar Roy (55) fell ill while on poll duty in Kumargram and later died at a nursing home, another polling personnel (58) apparently committed suicide by jumping into River Teesta while on his way back home.
Brian Moktan, a resident of BL Dixit Road, Saat Dobatey, Kalimpong, had been deputed for election duty at Kurseong. After being discharged, Moktan was returning to Kalimpong from Kurseong via Siliguri.
The bus he was travelling in had been caught in a traffic jam near Rambi on National Highway 31A. Fellow passengers claim that Moktan had jumped out of the window of the bus and disappeared in the hillside. The matter was reported by the bus driver with the Riyang police station.
Around 2.45 pm, while conducting a search operation, police personnel spotted Moktan on the banks of river Teesta. When they signalled him to climb up to the road, Moktan jumped into the Teesta.
"It apparently seems to be a case of suicide, the reason for which is not known yet. The police, aided by local rafting teams, are conducting search operations in the river," said DP Singh, superintendent of police, Darjeeling.
Moktan's body was not recovered till late Tuesday evening. Moktan, a teacher at the Indo-Tibetan Primary School in Kalimpong, was also a popular Nepali singer and music composer. He has an aged mother, a wife and two daughters.