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Updated: April 25, 2012 00:35 IST

MPs seek Collector's release

Aarti Dhar
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Sukma district Collector Alex Paul Menon.
The Hindu Sukma district Collector Alex Paul Menon.

Concerned over the abduction by Maoists of Alex Paul Menon, Collector of Sukma district in Chhattisgarh, members of Parliament on Tuesday demanded the Centre's intervention to secure his release.

Raising the issue in the Lok Sabha during zero hour, M. Thambidurai of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam said the Centre should come out with a strategy to tackle the Maoist problem. He said the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa had already written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking necessary action to secure Mr. Menon's release.

“It is unfortunate that an officer, while on official duty, was abducted by Maoists. It would demoralise the executive and IAS officers,” he said.

Referring to the abduction of Jhina Hikaka, Biju Janata Dal MLA in Odisha, Mr. Thambidurai said it was high time the Centre found ways to tackle the issue and secure the officer's release.

Mr. Menon is a 2006 batch Tamil Nadu cadre Indian Administrative Service officer who was appointed as the first Collector of the recently carved out Sukma district in the Naxal-dominated Bastar region. He was abducted on April 21 while he was touring the district.

T.R. Baalu (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) wanted the Tamil Nadu and Central governments to take steps to bring back the Collector. He said the entire Tamil community was concerned. DMK leader M. Karunanidhi had also requested the Centre to intervene and ensure Mr. Menon's safe return. Supporting the demand, S.S. Ramasubbu (Congress) described Mr. Menon as a very intelligent, efficient, hardworking and a dedicated officer who had done his schooling in Tirunelveli (Mr. Ramasubbu's Parliamentary constituency). He urged the Centre to take necessary action.

Mr. Ramasubbu also sought adequate compensation to the families of the two policemen killed in the incident.

In the Rajya Sabha, D. Raja of the Communist Party of India condemned the incident and urged the Maoists to release Mr. Menon without any further delay and pre-conditions.

“I urge the Centre and the State to take meaningful steps to get him released. It is an agonising and traumatic experience for his family members,” he said.

Mr. Raja also expressed concern over the Maoists adopting such a “disastrous” tactic.

V. Maitreyan (AIADMK) wanted the Centre to coordinate with the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that the officer was released. T. Siva (DMK) also supported the demand.

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