Family of abducted Chhattisgarh’s Sukma District Collector Alex Pal Menon, a young IAS officer hailing from Tamil Nadu, tonight said he was aware of 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,” Menon’s father-in-law Venugopal said. Venugopal, a retired LIC officer who resides here, also said his daughter Asha Alex was three months pregnant and had been handling the situation alone and appealed to the Centre to take steps for his son-in-law’s early release.
Menon’s father A. Haridhas, who is staying in Venugopal’s residence on his recent return from Chhattisgarh, also wanted the government to act speedily. “The government should take steps to release him soon. It is the duty of the government to get him released from the Maoists.
He went to Chhattisgarh to serve the country and he was doing that in Sukma,” Haridhas, a retired headmaster from a school in Valliyoor in Tiruneveli district in southern Tamil Nadu, said.
Menon did his schooling in Tirunelveli distirct and obtained his degree in engineering from a private college in Dindigul near Madurai. Venugopal said they got the news about the abduction this evening through his wife Asha Alex from Sukma
His Wife, Asha Alex, has appealed the ultras to release her husband on humanitarian grounds while expressing faith in government in ensuring his release.
“My husband is unwell and not carrying medicines. I appeal naxals to free him from their captivity on humanitarian grounds,” she told reporters here.
The Maoist insurgents abducted the 32-year-old IAS officer from Majhipara village in Keralapal area of the Naxal-infested district this afternoon after killing his two security officers.
“My husband is a good officer and has been doing his work honestly. I am still in Sukma and being updated by the government on all developments. I am confident that the state will ensure safe release of my husband,” Asha said.
She told reporters that she last spoke to Alex at around 4:45 PM and since then she has not heard of him. The incident happened when Menon, who went to the village on motorcycle was holding a meeting with the villagers as part of the government’s ‘Gram Suraj’ campaign, aimed at weaning away the locals from the path of Naxalism.
Menon is the first Collector of the newly-created Sukma district and was known to be pro-active in undertaking development work in the backward region. According to police, they have not received any communication from naxals regarding setting any conditions for the release of the IAS officer.