Bhopal activist requests Maoists to release Menon 'unharmed'

   Apr 26, 9:06 pm

Bhopal, Apr 26 (ANI): The public concern over the health and safe release of abducted Sukma District Collector got a sentimental touch on Thursday, as a local activist in Bhopal organized a blood 'satyagraha' and wrote a letter addressed to the Maoists to release Alex Paul Menon 'unharmed'.

Mahesh Yadav, a local here, extracted his own blood and wrote the appeal to the Maoists on a huge sheet of paper.

He said that this appeal would be posted to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who would later forward it to the Maoist mediators.

"Today, we appeal to the Maoists by writing this message in blood to give up the path of violence and to safely release the District Collector of (Sukma) Mr. Menon. By giving this message, written in blood, we are saying that we support your revolution, but not the path of violence you have chosen," he said.

Earlier in the day, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh stated that Menon's health had improved after medication.

The state government had rushed medicines, through a Maoist sympathiser Manish Kunjam, for Menon hours after the rebels informed that he was critically ill.

In a bid to defuse the crisis, the Chhattisgarh government appointed two retired bureaucrats-Nirmala Buch and S. K. Mishra-as mediators to negotiate with the Maoists to press for Menon's release.

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The ultras also want anti-Naxal Operation Green Hunt to be cancelled, security forces to be withdrawn from the region and persons against whom they allege "fake cases" have been registered, released from the jails.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

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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