Chhattigarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has said that the government is trying its best to get back abducted Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon, even as the kidnapping drama took a new twist with Maoists sending a new list of demands to the Chhattisgarh government in return for his release.
“The government is trying its best to get the Collector back”, he said, while assuring Menon’s family that no effort would be spared. Singh also said however, that no one was talking about Menon’s two guards who were killed by the Naxals when they tried to resist his abduction.
Besides the release of their eight associates and the suspension of ‘Operation Green Hunt’, The Maoists are now reportedly demanding that nine more rebels have to be released.
The first deadline set by Maoists for meeting their demands to set free abducted Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon passed on Thursday, amid reports that it was extended by a day in order to give negotiations between mediators of the Chattisgarh government and the Naxals a chance.
A day after the abduction of the Collector, Maoists initially demanded the release of eight cadres before 25 April as well as the suspension of ‘Operation Green Hunt’.
he ultras also want anti-Naxal Operation Green Hunt to be cancelled, security forces to be withdrawn from the region and individuals against whom “fake cases” have been registered, released from jails, officials told PTI.
Menon, a 2006-batch IAS officer, was abducted on Sunday from Majhipara village where he was meeting villagers for a government outreach program. The Naxals killed two of his bodyguards who tried to resist the abduction.
Asha Menon, the abducted officer’s wife, has appealed to Naxals to release her husband on humanitarian grounds, saying he was an asthmatic. A day after his abduction the Naxals sent a message saying his health was critical and asking for the necessary medicines. The drugs were subsequently delivered by former MLA Manish Kunjam who said that the collector was safe.
With inputs from PTI