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I can't mediate using innocent as pawn, says Bhushan

Delhi,Terrorism, Tue, 24 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Supreme Court lawyer and prominent Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan has declined to mediate on behalf of the Maoists who have kidnapped Chhattisgarh's Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon.


Stating that the Maoists' demands were justified, Bhushan told IANS that he, however, "cannot mediate using an innocent person's life as a pawn".


"They should unconditionally release Menon and after that, if they want me to mediate with government on their behalf, I will do that," he added.


In an earlier press statement, Bhushan said that the Maoists' demands for release of innocent tribals and ending operation Green Hunt against were "justified".


Bhushan's denial came after Maoists late Monday named him, former National Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Commission chairperson B.D. Sharma and president of the All India Adivasi Mahasabha Manish Kunjam as mediators.


Kunjam has also declined the Maoists' offer.


Menon, 32, a 2006 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was Saturday taken at gunpoint by rebels from a forested location when he was interacting with tribals. The Maoists shot dead his two guards.


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