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Chhattisgarh hostage crisis: Third round of talks today

Raipur , Sat, 28 Apr 2012 ANI

Raipur, Apr 28 (ANI): The fate of abducted Sukma District Collector is undecided even a week after his kidnapping, and interlocutors of the Chhattisgarh Government and the Maoists are meeting for the third time today to find a way out.

According to reports, Maoist-nominated mediators B.D. Sharma and Professor Hargopal left for Chintalnar early this morning to meet the Maoist leaders in a chopper provided by the government.

"Since day before yesterday talks have been going on , we will talk to them (Maoists) and after talking to them, we will take a final decision. We are hopeful that we will return today," said Sharma.

The Chhattisgarh Government, which has intensified efforts to free Menon from Maoists captivity, earlier appointed two retired bureaucrats-Nirmala Buch and S. K. Mishra-as mediators to negotiate with the Maoists to press for Menon's release.hief Minister Dr. Raman Singh earlier said the abductors demands would be considered only within the legal framework.

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The ultras also want anti-Naxal Operation Green Hunt to be cancelled, security forces to be withdrawn from the region and persons against whom they allege "fake cases" have been registered, released from the jails.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 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 last week.

Menon is the first collector of the newly-created Sukma District and was known to be proactive in undertaking development work in the backward region. (ANI)

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