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'Abducted collector Menon is safe'

Chhattisgarh,Terrorism, Thu, 26 Apr 2012 IANS

Raipur, April 26 (IANS) Alex Paul Menon was "fine and safe", Left leader Manish Kunjam said Thursday after delivering asthma medicines for Chhattisgarh's Sukma collector who has been in Maoist captivity since April 21.


As uncertainty over Menon's fate mounted, Kunjam told journalists in Sukma, about 500 km from here: "Alex is fine and safe."


Returning from the hideout, Kunjam said he could not meet the collector but the medicines had reached him.


Kunjam, a former Chhattisgarh legislator and well known Communist Party of India leader in the troubled Bastar region, had collected medicines from Asha Menon, Menon's wife, and reached Chintagufa area Tuesday evening.


He then went into the jungle to hand over medicines to Menon, who reportedly needed urgent medical attention.


Asked about the release of the collector, Kunjam said: "I have been kept out from the dialogue process. I am not in any position to make a comment on it."


Kunjam, a prominent tribal leader, had been named mediator by the Maoists but refused. Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan had also rejected their offer.


Menon, 32, a 2006 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was abducted at gunpoint Saturday by rebels from a forested location, while he was interacting with tribals. The Maoists shot dead his two guards who resisted his abduction.


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