Alex Paul Menon spends Eights day in Maoist Captivity

Abducted Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon spent the eighth day in the captivity of Maoists’ whose mediators travelled to Tadmetla forests to seek instructions from them after talks with government mediators for the IAS officer’s release failed.

Faced with the demands of ultras, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has convened a meeting of his senior ministers to find a solution. “We want some way out. We are serious about the issue and want the Collector to be released at the earliest. We will do everything permissible within the ambit of law,” he said.

Menon, a 2006 batch IAS officer, was abducted by the Maoists on April 21 from Sukma district of Chhattisgarh. Additional Director General of Police Ram Nivas told PTI that B D Sharma and Professor Hargopal, the two interlocutors from Maoist’s side, who are holding talks with the government, flew to Chintalnar by a chopper and proceeded further by a two-wheeler.

Ram Nivas said that the forest of Tadmetla, a Naxal stronghold, is so dense that only a two-wheeler can ply there. This is the same area where the Maoists had ambushed and killed 76 CRPF jawans in April 2010. According to police, the local media-persons took Sharma and Hargopal up to Tadmetla, where they were met by around 10 armed Maoists, who took them further into the forest.

Nirmala Buch and S K Mishra are the government-side interlocutors and there have been two rounds of talks so far. In exchange for Menon, the Maoists want release of 17 of their jailed leaders, halt to the anti-Maoist offensive ‘Operation Green Hunt’ and return of security forces in Bastar to the barracks.