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Sukma collector Alex Paul Menon to be released on Thursday

Raipur, Wed, 02 May 2012 ANI

Raipur, May 2 (ANI): Abducted Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon is expected to be released tomorrow by his Maoist captors.

A SMS message to this effect was received by the media late last night from the CPI (Maoist) south Bastar divisional committee.

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, addressing media after meeting with the four mediators-Nirmala Buch, S. K. Mishra, B. D. Sharma and G. Hargopal-Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said he had personally thanked the four negotiators and discussed various provisions of the agreement reached with the Maoists, and ways to implement them.

"I had called the four mediators to thank them for their hard work that lasted for four days. We have headed towards resolving the matter after the way appeal was issued and the way our four mediators requested. We also discussed the ways to implement the provisions in the agreement that has been concluded. I hope that he will be released soon," said Singh.

Singh further said that anti-Maoist operations would not be suspended.

"If the peace initiative is undertaken by both parties, then we welcome it. They have not made such a proposal," added Singh.

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The ultras also wanted anti-Naxal Operation Green Hunt to be cancelled, security forces to be withdrawn from the region and persons against whom they allege "fake cases" have been registered, released from the jails.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