Sukma District Collector released; thanks mediators, Chhattisgarh Govt.
Chintanlar (Sukma), May 3 (ANI): Abducted Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon, who was finally released by the Maoists on Thursday thanked the mediators and the Chhattisgarh Government for helping him come out of this unpleasant hostage crisis.
"I thank the mediators and Chhattisgarh Government. I am fine, will work wherever government posts me," he told the media.
The 32-year-old IAS officer was reportedly handed over to two mediators - BD Sharma and Professor G. Hargopal, who represented the Maoists in their talks with the Chhattisgarh government
The Maoists had issued a statement earlier on Tuesday evening, saying they would hand over Menon to the two mediators who represented them in their talks with the Chhattisgarh Government.
The message was forwarded after an agreement reached between government negotiators and the Maoists over the release of Menon.
The message said among other things that the Maoists are ready to handover Menon to their mediators tomorrow in front of the people of Tadmetla in Chhattisgarh's South Bastar region.
Earlier, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said the mediators would be provided all facilities to get Menon back.
"We were hoping that they will release him within 48 hours but they have fixed the date of release for May 3. So we are okay with it, even if its 24 hours late. We welcome this decision and we will provide every facility to the mediators," Singh said.
The Maoists had kidnapped Menon after killing two of his bodyguards on April 21, while he was meeting with villagers of Majhipara village in the Keralapal area of the Naxal-infected district.
The Naxals had demanded the release of eight colleagues: Markam Gopanna alias Satyam Reddy, Nirmal Akka alias Vijay Laxmi, Devpal Chandrashekhar Reddy, Shantipriya Reddy, Meena Choudhari, Korsa Sunny, Markam Sunny and Asit Kumar Sen.
The ultras also wanted anti-Naxal Operation Green Hunt to be cancelled, security forces to be withdrawn from the region and persons against whom they allege "fake cases" have been registered, released from the jails.
The new agreement that has been concluded by the negotiators is different from the earlier demands of the Maoist abductors.
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. (ANI)
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