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Collector abduction: Maoist mediator B D Sharma arrives in Raipur

Raipur, Thu, 26 Apr 2012 ANI

Raipur, Apr 26 (ANI): Maoist mediator B D Sharma arrived in Chhattisgarh's Raipur District on Thursday to secure the release of abducted collector Alex Paul Menon.

Speaking to the reporters, Sharma said that they would try to amicably resolve the issue at the earliest.

"Let our other team members come from Hyderabad and then we will sit and talk and representatives of the government will also be there. We will talk and then we will take the decision on it," said Sharma.

Maoists had earlier picked three mediators- former IAS officer and social activist B D Sharma, Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan and Bastar's CPI leader Manish Kunjam for holding talks with the Chhattisgarh government.

However, both Bhushan and Kunjam later backed out from mediation.

After which, the Maoists nominated social activist and academician, Professor Hargopal, to mediate on behalf of them with the Chhattisgarh Government.

The state government has nominated former chief secretary of Madhya Pradesh Nirmala Buch, along with former chief secretary of Chhattisgarh S K Mishra to hold negotiations with the Maoists.

The Chhattisgarh Government had on Tuesday rushed medicines, through Kunjam for Menon; hours after the rebels informed that he was critically ill.

The Naxals have 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, in return of Menon.

The ultras also want anti-Naxal Operation Green Hunt to be cancelled, security forces to be withdrawn from the region and persons against whom they allege "fake cases" have been registered, released from the jails.

In an audacious operation, Maoist rebels on April 21 abducted Menon, an IAS officer of 2006 batch, from the middle of a meeting with villagers from Majhipara village in Keralapal area of the Naxal-infected district.

Earlier in the day, the Maoists in Orissa released abducted Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Jhina Hikaka after keeping him captive for 32 days. (ANI)

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