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MUZAFFARNAGAR: A 60-year-old priest, planning to fight the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Panchayat elections, has gone missing from his village temple in the Muzaffarnagar district, police said on Saturday.

They said the matter is also being investigated from the angle if he was abducted by his rivals.

Muzaffarnagar Superintendent of Police (Rural) A K Shrivastava said priest Baba Hari Giri Maharaj of Shiv Temple in Sarnawali village under the Phugana police station area has gone missing since Saturday morning.

He was in the temple last night but was nowhere to be found on Saturday morning, he said, adding the police have registered a “missing person” case and are investigating it.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Sharad Chandra Sharma told PTI that the priest was also planning to file his nomination for the post of village head (gram Pradhan) in the upcoming panchayat elections.

The police are also trying to ascertain if he was abducted due to his intention to fight the elections.