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Updated: May 25, 2012 12:16 IST

Rebels set 72-hour deadline

Aman Sethi
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A file photo of Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon who was kidnapped by Maoists on Saturday. Photo: Special Arrangement
The Hindu
A file photo of Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon who was kidnapped by Maoists on Saturday. Photo: Special Arrangement

The South Bastar Divisional Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) has released an audio tape, demanding that the State government halt all police operations in the Maoist affected districts and release 6 Maoist workers and those falsely implicated in the Maoist cases within 72 hours to secure the release of Alex Menon, the Collector of Sukma, Chhattisgarh.

The tape was sent to the BBC's Salman Ravi and passed on to this correspondent.

In the statement, the Maoists accused the civil administration of working in tandem with security forces and the political establishment to allocate Chhattisgarh's mineral wealth to large multinational corporations.

“In such a context there is no question of any Collector working for the cause of masses,” claimed the statement.

Wife's appeal

Hyderabad Special Correspondent writes:

Asha Paul Menon, the Collector's wife, has appealed to the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee and civil society members to help her in the safe release of her husband.

In a faxed message here, she said Mr. Menon was from a humble background and an asthma patient. His father underwent two bypass surgeries.

Abduction of the collector is not the proper way of expressing their condemn for the allocation of mineral wealth to MNC's.

Instead they should have shown their strength to the exact person who put forth the proposal.

The Central Government should immediately investigate into this and see to that the allocation is done for money or development.

If it is done for money both the Government should step in and take strict action to do the best for DEVELOPMENT.

Why...even this might bring confidence in them about our Government and lead to surrender & reformation.

Following that I strongly & AGGRESSIVELY put forth the appeal of giving basic education and welfare needs for them which help them in understanding and decline of terror activities.

from:  CSA Shankar
Posted on: Apr 23, 2012 at 12:33 IST

While some say this series of abductions of politicians and bureaucrats by the Maoists is a sign of their of their growing boldness, it is also proof of the nervousness the extremists are in because their demand in most of the cases has been suspension of Operation Green Hunt. Now what is worrying is that we still continue to offer them ammunition to shoot us back by proving lax security to prominent people that they take hostage. IAS, IPS officers, more often than not, have to perform their duty under little or no protection. That's why we have seen murder and abduction of brave officers by kerosene mafia, sand mafia and by the Maoists. If the insurgency is to be defeated once and for all the Maoists have to be deprived of all the potential opportunities that allow them to blackmail the government and force it to capitulate to their demands. This also calls for putting in place a robust hostage rescue strategy that is so lacking.

from:  Mukul Kanti Dutta
Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 22:59 IST

The authority to the State cannot be compromised for a few lives because it will put more people at risk from abduction by groups that have demands to be met. But, allegations of excesses and false cases by the governments must be investigated by a judicial commission that has the mandate to prosecute the guilty.

from:  Thomas George
Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 22:22 IST

The Maoists are not doing their jobs which they suppose to do.

from:  Swayambar
Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 22:20 IST

What a shameful act by Maoist, killing two innocent public servant. Now what about their families, what about their children? Now they have demanded something, Government will have to comply to that willingly or not. They have founded a great way of getting their demand fulfilled.A prompt & farsighted action of government is required. Both state & center government should come forward to resolve the issues related to Maoists as they are also the citizens of India. Hoping for the early & safe removal of Mr. A P Menon.

from:  Ashish Dugar
Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 22:06 IST

Only a few officers work tirelessly for the people, and maoists abduct them. It is horrific to imagine the demotivation caused by such coward acts to the honest officials. Maoists claim to be fighting for people,but they act more like an unscrupulous band of robbers and extortionists. God save India! And regarding ideology, of what use such an ideology which doesn't have a slightest regard for the human life (with respect to 2 gunmen killed).

from:  Prince Kadyan
Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 20:21 IST

A moment (naxalist) started for people now turning against they are not killing administrators but also their own villagers of they want to turn to main stream. makes a very strong case of rule of law...

from:  nitin k
Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 20:04 IST

The government should handle the situation with utmost care and make sure that no untoward happens on the safety of the abducted District Collector Alex Paul Menon.

Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 19:41 IST

Hats off to Mr. Menon who is a courageous IAS officer. His proactive attitude towards the naxal-hit rural development program must be appreciated. In fact, the Govt. of India & the respective State Govt. need to take affirmative actions for rural development, food security, health, education & employment at the red corridor, and deploy peace arbitrators therein for a peaceful solution to the domestic menace. In fact, the Maoists are our own people, henceforth deploying Central paramilitary force, KOBRA & others for eradication of the jungle revolt won't resolve the problem. Rather the deployment of force must be for a peace mission. Govt. must understand that we're losing our own people in this warfare. On the contrary, the Maoists leadership must also be convinced that our neighbors are taking the advantage of our internal conflicts; dialogue is the vital key to mainstream the red corridor. More young & motivated civil servants must serve those disturbed districts for permanent peace.

from:  C C Bhaumik
Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 19:37 IST

It is sorry state of affair. The naxals who are loosing ground and not bale to spread their tentacles are resorting to this black mail & kidnap tactics.Neither the state or centre are serious of resolving this issue.When Centre calls for NCTE meeting recently these govts especially Orissa, Tamilnadu, West Bengal and Gujarat chief ministers felt that the Centre was encroaching on federal structure of the states.Instead the states should have attended and discussed the matter of Terrorism and Naxalism at pointblank & clear cut policy.One should not feel that one is less & the other is more.They are forgetting that they have been elected to bring a welfare state but not for bickering or go for false prestige & thus put its people,police & the officials in a awkward situation & rush to mediators to get release the officials or politicians or any one, when such things happen.It is also wrong to bow down for naxal demands as security forces are laying down their lives in fighting the menace.

from:  S.Nagaraja Rao
Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 19:07 IST

These officers toil hard for years to enter the service with the sole purpose to serve the society . The Government has been failing to protect them.

from:  Sulgith Moosan
Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 18:11 IST

One feels very sad that such things happen in our country. I earnestly hope for Mr.Pandian's release, early. First thing is to reach him the medicines.

from:  Soundararajan Srinivasa
Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 17:27 IST
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