abducted Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon, has been released from custody

After a 12-day ordeal, the abducted Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon, has been released from custody by the Maoists on Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Menon, who was kidnapped by the Maoists on April 21, was handed over to the two interlocutors Prof. G. Haragopal and B.D. Sarma deep inside the Bastar forests.

The two interlocutors flew to Chintalnar in a Government helicopter and went into the jungles on motorcycles. A large contingent of media which stationed itself at Chintalnar was asked not to accompany the interlocutors.

“We have information that Mr. Menon has been handed over to the interlocutors. The helicopter is ready to fly him back to Raipur from Sukma”, a government sources told The Hindu from Raipur.

The release has been facilitated after the Government and the two interlocutors hammered out an agreement to constitute a high-power committee to “regularly review all cases of persons in respect of wome investigation / prosecution is pending.”

The Maoists have demanded the release of eight of their jailed comrades apart from calling for a halt to the Operation Green Hunt, a code-name for the counter intersurgency operations.

According to the agreement, the high-power committee would start its work an hour after the release of the abducted collector.

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