Following the Collector’s abduction, the security forces have put a halt on anti Maoist operations in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh from Saturday evening. The Collector is said to be guarded by around 500 Maoists. Mr Bhusan has refused to talk to the government on behalf of Maoists. He rather advised the Maoists to release the collector Menon. “Free the collector first, and then we will talk,” said Mr Bhusan. He said that he can appeal the Maoists, but won’t take part in mediation process. “In my view kidnapping a civilian officer and holding him hostage is not right”, he added. He further told mediapersons in Delhi that Maoists should release the officer unconditionally.
Kunjan, a former MLA from Kunta is also reluctant to mediate but agreed to carry medicines to the abducted collector immediately. The Maoists have demanded withdrawal of paramilitary forces from Bastar, release of 8 prisoners and halt of operation Green Hunt, in return for collector’s release. Today is the deadline; Maoists have set for their conditions.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh very clearly said on Monday that ‘the Collector will have to be released’. The government is willing to speak to Maoists about their demands only after he is released. Maoists abducted Mr Menon on Saturday from a village in between 4:30 to 5:30 PM. His kidnapping comes even as uncertainty continues over the fate of ruling BJD MLA of Laxmipur constituency in Koraput district of Odisha Jhinna Hikaka who was abducted by Maoists on 24th March and is scheduled to be produced on 25th of the month tomorrow before Praja court (Peoples Court) for final judgment.