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Updated: April 23, 2012 17:49 IST

Anti-Naxal operations suspended in Bastar

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File photo shows the CRPF Cobra team conducting a combing operation in Dantewada district, Chhattisgarh after a Maoist attack.
The Hindu
File photo shows the CRPF Cobra team conducting a combing operation in Dantewada district, Chhattisgarh after a Maoist attack.

Faced with the April 25 deadline set by the Maoists, the Chhattisgarh government has suspended the anti-Naxal operations in Bastar region in the wake of abduction of Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon.

The state government has asked the security forces not to conduct any offensive against the Maoists in the Bastar region till he is freed by the extremists, official sources said.

The decision has been taken to ensure safety of the 32-year-old 2006 batch IAS officer, who was abducted by the Maoists on Saturday from Sukma district’s Majhipara village when he was holding a meeting as part of the government’s outreach programme Special Gram Suraj Abhiyan, they said.

“Since he has been kidnapped, there has been no video or audio clip from them (Maoists). So, everyone is wondering whether he is fine or not. There is no news. We have requested the government to take some kind of initiative to know about his well-being,” a worried Asha, wife of Menon, said.

Efforts were underway to send medicines for Menon, who is an asthma patient.

Mr. Menon is being held hostage at a Chhattisgarh-Odisha border area and is kept under watch by nearly 400 armed Naxals, the sources said adding Unmanned Aerial Vehicle undertook surveillance in the areas and reportedly took pictures of the location too.

“The state government is exploring all options and making efforts to ensure safe release of Menon,” Chief Minister Raman Singh told reporters in Raipur.

He said the state government has been in continuous touch with the Centre since the IAS officer was abducted.

“All neighbouring states have been alerted about the abduction and there is better coordination in all the states...We are continuously in touch with the Centre,” the Chief Minister said.

The Chhattisgarh government has set up a ministerial team under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister to look into the abduction issue.

State Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar, Tribal Welfare Minister Kedar Kashyap, Water Resources Minister Ramvichar Netam and School Education Minister Brijmohan Agrawal would be part of the committee, sources said.

In New Delhi, a high-level meeting chaired by Home Minister P Chidambaram took stock of the situation arising out of the hostage crisis.

After the meeting, attended by National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, Union Home Secretary R K Singh, besides others, the Home Ministry sent an advisory to naxal-affected states asking them to take all precautionary security steps when politicians and administrative officials visit these areas.

Earlier, the Union Home Secretary said, “We are in regular touch with the state government. Whatever support is needed by them is being given, will be given“.

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Additional Director General of Police Ram Nivas (anti-Naxal operations) said Menon was “safe“.

“The state police is in touch with their counterparts from the bordering states,” he said.

Maoists had on Sunday demanded release of eight of their jailed leaders, including two women, in Chhattisgarh and a halt to anti-naxal operation for the release of Mr. Menon.

Maoist doesn't represent common good. The want the people to be illiterate so that they can rule them. Solid military action is necessary to send a clear message that no one can damage the public infrastructure which is primary condition for welfare society.Illiteracy can be only be removed when no maoist can dare to blow up a school building.Peace always comes at the price of the war , not for free.

from:  subodh
Posted on: Apr 24, 2012 at 09:51 IST

The Govt. must ensure the safe return of the D.M. otherwise no officer in the worse effected area will work with zeal,enthusia ,willingness and honestly.As had been published in the News papers Mr.Menon was a very dynamic personality.Certainly the naxalites' who are also our brothers, problem has to be solved first and for that we have to go to the root of the problem.Whatever is being done currently is like watering to the stem and leaves instead of watering to the root if real growth is desired for the tree.Honest efforts are required and our saints should also look at this ignored sector.

Posted on: Apr 23, 2012 at 23:48 IST

sorry. the root is not poverty which is there all along. politicians are
worried about them. see how many go around them. bureaucracy suffers and
it is high time they assert and do their job. after all things were not
this bad four or five decades ago. Maoists are not behaving according to
Ma Tse Tung whom they are supposed to follow. they are behaving
unfortunately like terrorists since they are misguided and once they are
brought to the mainstream things would be excellent.

from:  n ramaswami
Posted on: Apr 23, 2012 at 21:09 IST

I don't think that just military action is going to solve this problem.
We have to go to the root of the problem.
And the root is that this area is plunged with
poverty,illiteracy,unemployment and so it gives rise to rebellion
against government.
Solve these problems and everything will become fine.

from:  Tilopa
Posted on: Apr 23, 2012 at 19:13 IST

why don't our local and national newspaper never cover this..some foreign TV's are giving full insights..what a shame..

from:  john
Posted on: Apr 23, 2012 at 16:32 IST
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