Chhattisgarh: Naxals release Canadian cyclist John Szlazak after two days of captivity

Raipur: A Canadian cyclist who had been held captive by lower-rung Maoist cadres in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district was released on Wednesday, police said.

Undated image of John Szlazak procured by Firstpost

Undated image of John Szlazak procured by Firstpost

"John Szlazak, the Canadian national, has been released in Arnampalli forests. Security personnel brought him to Sukma district headquarters," Sukma Superintendent of Police Abhishek Meena told PTI.

Szlazak, who works with Canadian government's agency Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), was on a bicycle expedition from Mumbai to the Naxal-affected Bastar region of Chhattisgarh from 14 March.

Members of "Sangham" (village-level Naxal cadres and sympathisers) held him on the evening of 27 March when he was passing through Singamadgu under Chintagufa police station limits in Sukma. The police started a search for him after he sent an emergency alert through a GPS instrument attached to the bicycle.

On Tuesday, the police had said that he was held by the Naxal cadres because he could not explain the purpose of his tour due to the language problem, and they suspected him to be a police informer.

Police sent some local people to the village to inform his captors that he had no links with security forces.

The Sangham members freed him late Wednesday afternoon in Arnampalli forests, from where he was taken to Polampalli police station and brought to Sukma town.

He will be questioned about the purpose of his tour and how he reached the interior of Sukma, a local police officer said.

Updated Date: Mar 30, 2017 14:36 PM

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