Collector’s abduction: Maoists ask govt. to make its stand clear

Talks continued for the second day on Friday for the early release of Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon. An official said that Maoists had made a fresh demand for the release of arrested leaders. File photo  


Maoists today asked Chhattisgarh Government to clarify its stand on their demands for the release of abducted Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon, and expressed their inability to extend the deadline without receiving a clarification in this regard.

In an e-mail sent to the media, the Naxals said they have received through the media the Government’s request for extension of deadline for the release of the 2006 batch IAS officer kidnapped on April 21.

However, unless the State administration clarifies its stand on their demands it was difficult for them to take a call on extension of the deadline (original deadline passed on April 25), they said.

Fresh demands

To free Mr. Menon, the rebels have sought the release of 17 of their rebels, a halt to the anti-Maoist offensive 'Operation Green Hunt' and sending back to the barracks the security forces in Bastar. Earlier, they had demanded the release of eight of their comrades.

The Maoists criticised the Government for “dilly-dallying” on every issue related to the hostage crisis and said the administration does not appear serious about the fate of the abducted bureaucrat.

In another e-mail, the Naxals elaborated on the reasons behind the District Collector’s abduction.

Under his tenure, Sukma district police allegedly murdered a youth and passed it off as a case of suicide, the e-mail alleged.

They also accused the police of committing “atrocities” on people in the district.

Negotiations resume

Meanwhile, official sources said that day two of mediators’ talks to secure the safe and early freedom of the 32-year-old IAS officer, resumed at the Pahuna guest house here, after Thursday’s negotiations, remained inconclusive.

The government’s side is being represented by former Chief Secretaries of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Nirmala Buch and S.K. Mishra while the Maoists’ nominees are former National SC/ST Commission Chairperson B.D. Sharma and Prof G Hargopal.

On Thursday, both sides had described the exercise as “positive”.

Ms. Buch had said that though there was no outcome of the meeting that went on for three hours on Thursday, the government was confident about the quick resolution of the 6-day hostage crisis. Mr. Hargopal had said that the talks were preliminary in nature but “positive”.

Naxals abducted Sukma Collector Mr. Menon from Majhipara village when he was holding a meeting as part of the government’s special Gram Suraj Abhiyan on April 21.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2017 9:56:25 PM |