Lucknow Surya Prasad, who joined the UP police as a constable in 1981 and was posted at different police stations in Lucknow, applied for leave during his last posting at Hazratganj in 1998. He never rejoined duty. Now, twenty years later, police are trying to find out his whereabouts. The constable’s two-decade-long disappearance was discovered during a recent audit of the Lucknow police force carried out by senior superintendent of police (SSP) Kalanidhi Naithani. The SSP said Prasad is not a lone case. “Many police personnel, mainly of constable and head constable ranks, were found missing from duty for years without having informed competent authorities about their reason for doing so. Many are personnel who were suspended and never reported back to the authorities to get their suspensions revoked,” he said. Naithani said it was surprising that Prasad was absent from duty for so many years and nobody bothered to trace him. “An inquiry has been sent up to trace him and departmental action will be initiated against him after reviewing the reason behind his sudden disappearance,” he said. A source in the police department said that Prasad was running a business in his home town Sitapur, which was doing well. However, there has been no official verification of this information so far. The audit revealed that at least 148 personnel have been missing from duty. “At least 103 personnel were found missing from different police stations and district police branches, while 45 have been missing from reserve police lines,” said the SSP. He said some absentees cited medical reasons and family problems, while many others were missing without having informed their departments. “Most missing personnel are followers, drivers, constables and head constables,” said Naithani. He said stern action would be taken against those who went missing without informing the authorities, as it was an act of indiscipline and also a violation of police services rules. “Only cases of those missing due to acute illnesses will be considered for relief,” said the SSP. “The list of cops found missing without any reason includes constables who have put in a mere 4-5 years of service. The list also includes constables who were transferred to other districts but were not relieved from Lucknow,” he said. Naithani said notices were being issued to the missing personnel, seeking explanation from them. He said the role of counting sections of the reserve police lines and various police stations was also being probed. “It is impossible that a personnel remains absent without coming into the notice of the counting section,” he said, adding that there were cases where the personnel had got themselves attached to sections other than the Lucknow police.