Abducted Chhattisgarh collector may be freed Wednesday (Lead)

Syndicated from IANS | Published on Tue, May 1 2012 21:09 IST | 6 Views | Add comment
Raipur, May 1

Maoists may set abducted Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon free Wednesday, official sources in Chhattisgarh said Tuesday.

"Maoist interlocutors G. Hargopal and B.D. Sharma communicated to the Maoists Tuesday that they had signed an agreement Monday night with mediators appointed by the Chhattisgarh government, and it is believed the rebels have no objection to releasing Menon by Wednesday," a top official source told IANS.

Chief Minister Raman Singh chaired a cabinet meeting Tuesday that approved the agreement signed between the two sides for release of Menon.

The mediators from the government as well as the Maoists had signed a two-page draft agreement Monday night and the chief minister hurriedly convened a press conference to announce that "Alex would be released within 48 hours".

The Maoist interlocutors and government mediators Nirmala Buch and S.K. Mishra agreed to form a high-powered review committee headed by Buch, to consider cases of Maoists lodged in various jails in the state.

Meanwhile, the Maoists interlocutors met Chief Minister Raman Singh at state secretariat and he appreciated their role in reaching into agreement for brightening strong hope for Menon's release.

The interlocutors later told media persons Tuesday evening that the agreement had been communicated to the Maoists and their reaction was keenly awaited.

Menon, 32, a 2006 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, has been held hostage by Maoist since April 21. The official was abducted at gunpoint by rebels from a forested location in Sukma district, some 500 km south from here, while he was interacting with tribals.

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