According to police, some 50 ultras, including women, approached the spot where the program was underway, and took away Mr. Menon after shooting two of his guards dead. Police believe this was an operation of the ‘Military’ dalam of the Maoists.

Chhattisgarh Police on Sunday claimed to have got some important clues in the abduction case of Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon by Naxals, who are yet to make any contact with the authorities.

Additional Director General of Police (anti-Naxal operations) Ram Nivas told PTI that police has got some important clues but refused to elaborate due to security reasons.

He said police has quizzed the officials who had taken part in the Gram Suraj Abhiyan programme at Majhipara village, during which 32-year-old Mr. Menon was abducted on Saturday.

According to the officials who were present, some 50 ultras, including women, approached the spot where the programme was underway, and took away Mr. Menon after shooting two of his guards dead.

Around 20 of them were armed, the officials told police.

They first shot guard Kishun Kujur. Another guard, Amjad Khan, returned the fire, in which one of the Naxals was reportedly killed, while Khan too died in the exchange of fire.

According to Ram Nivas, police suspect this to be the operation of ‘Military’ dalam of the Naxals, and most of those who took part in the operation were from Chhattisgarh.

“Naxals have not made any demand in return for the release of the Collector so far,” Ram Nivas said.

He also said that 32-year-old Mr. Menon suffered from asthma, and was not carrying his medicines when he was abducted.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Raman Singh said that state would try its best to rescue Menon.

Ms. Asha Menon, the abducted officer’s wife, has appealed to the Naxals to release her husband on humanitarian grounds, saying he was sick and does not have the necessary medicines with him.

A special police team has been constituted for rescue efforts.

Menon’s family said the officer was aware of the threat of possible kidnap of officials in the region but that never deterred him from responding to the call of duty.

“We heard that there were warnings about possible kidnap of senior officials in that region. He was advised not to go out without security. He was very careful. But he had to attend to his duties,” Mr. Menon’s father-in-law Venugopal said.