To secure the release of Sukma District Collector (DC) Alex Paul Menon, who was abducted by Maoists on Saturday, Chhattisgarh government has decided to form a sub-committee with Chief Minister Raman Singh as the chairman.
The sub-committee consisting of Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar, Tribal Welfare Minister Kedar Kashyap, Water Resources Minister Ramvichar Netam and School Education Minister Brijmohan Agrawal, with the CM as the chairman was formed to handle the abduction crisis after a meeting on Sunday. The CM is expected to call for an all party meeting on the issue.
The Maoists abducted the DC from Majhipara village at around 4.30 p.m on Saturday when he was interacting with the people for a programme. They killed his two security guards before taking him away.
The rebels have forwarded a list of demands to the state government that includes release of eight Maoists and to halt Operation Green Hunt in Bastar. They have set a deadline till April 25 for the government to fulfill their demands.
Meanwhile, Menon's wife Asha Menon, who is expecting a baby, has requested the rebels to release her husband on humanitarian ground. She said that she is worried about her husband's health, as he is an asthmatic patient who needs proper medication.
Menon, a 2006 batch of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), is the first collector of Sukma district after it was separated from Dantewada district. He apparently went ahead meeting the locals in spite of the risk of being kidnapped.
Meanwhile, the DC got support the people of the district. The local people called for a bandh in Sugma district yesterday to protest the abduction of the DC by the Maoists.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has asked the CM of Chhattisgarh to provide detailed report of the abduction. He has also assured all possible help for the release of the officer.
Alex Paul Menon's abduction came amidst the kidnap of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Jhina Hikaka in Odisha. The politician, who was abducted on March 24, is still under captivity.