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Binayak Sen urges Maoists to free collector

West Bengal,Crime/Disaster/Accident,Terrorism, Mon, 23 Apr 2012 IANS

Kolkata, April 23 (IANS) Human rights activist Binayak Sen Monday appealed to the Maoists to release Chhattisgarh's abducted Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon and urged them to resume peace talks with the government.


"I earnestly appeal to the Communist Party of India-Maoist that the abducted collector Alex Menon be released unconditionally as soon as possible. He should also be unharmed until his release and all medical facilities be extended to him," Sen said in a media statement.


Sen, who is the vice president of rights organisation People's Union of Civil Liberties, said the issues in the region cannot be resolved in an atmosphere of violence and militarisation.


"The way forward for the restoration of peace and the well-being of the people of the area will only be possible through the cessation of armed conflict and the withdrawal of militarisation," asserted Sen.


"Restoration of dialogue and the legitimisation of dissent are essential and my appeal is for this to be effected as early as possible," added Sen.


Menon was abducted by the Maoists April 21 while he was attending a government meeting in Manjhipara, around 500 km south of Raipur. Two of the collector's personal security officers were shot dead by the rebels.


The 32-year-old Menon, a 2006 batch Indian Administrative Service officer, had gone to the village on a motorcycle.


The Maoists have set April 25 as deadline for the government to release release eight of their jailed associates in Chhattisgarh in exchange for the collector's freedom.


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