New Delhi, Apr 24 (ANI): Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja on Tuesday said the government should adopt a holistic approach to secure the safe release of Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon from his Maoist kidnappers.
"As far as demands are concerned whether they are raised by Maoists or by us there are some genuine issues involved. Some innocent people are put into prison unnecessarily. Government will have to be very holistic in its approach," Raja said.
Raja further pointed out that the issue must be taken up at the political level, and added that all political parties should be involved in resolving the issue.
"I agree there must be talks with Maoists, there must be talks. These talks cannot be held by one or two mediators. I do not know what capacity the mediators will have. I think there can be some initiative at political level. Political parties in the state, political parties at national level will have to be involved," he asserted.
Meanwhile. Congress leader V. Hanumantha Rao said Maoists have obstructed development activities.
" Due to Naxalism, development in the remote areas is not taking place. The progress that was supposed to take place in theses areas could not take place due to the violent activities of the Maoists. Since roads were being constructed, development was taking place and people were becoming aware, the Maoists obstructed the development projects in order to prevent the development of the area and they want to keep it backward," he said.
The Maoists have also nominated the names of former National SC/ST Commission chairperson B D Sharma, Team Anna member and Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan and All India Adivasi Mahasabha President Manish Kunjam.
Both Bhushan and Kunjam have, however, refused to mediate in the matter.
The Chhattisgarh Government earlier today named two former bureaucrats for holding talks with Maoists to secure the release of abducted Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon.
The two mediators- SK Mishra and N Buch- have served as chief secretaries of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, respectively.
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.
The ultras also want anti-Naxal Operation Green Hunt to be cancelled, security forces to be withdrawn from the region and persons against whom they allege "fake cases" have been registered, released from the jails.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 Saturday 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.
The Sukma district collector's kidnapping comes even as uncertainty continues over the fate of ruling BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka in neighbouring Odisha who was abducted by the Maoists about a month ago.
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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