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Collector ill, talks yet to take off

delhi Updated: Apr 25, 2012 01:34 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
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File-photo-of-Sukma-district-collector-Alex-Paul-Menon-who-was-abducted-by-Naxals-in-Chattisgarh-PTI

The Chhattisgarh government is desperately banking on the state-appointed mediators and the Maoist abductors to secure the release of Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon whose critical health condition prompted the authorities to rush medicines for him on Tuesday.

The state government has named two former chief secretaries of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh - Nirmala Buch and Suyogya Kumar Mishra - as its nominees to hold talks with the Maoists.

Buch is likely to reach Raipur on Wednesday, the day when the Maoist deadline to the Chhattisgarh government to meet its demands ends.



BD Sharma, a former bureaucrat and one of the three mediators named by the Maoists, urged the rebels to consider Menon's health and extend the deadline.

Menon, 32, is an asthma patient. His abductors told the state government that he is in a critical condition.

Sharma said, "They (the Maoists) should extend the deadline."

Sharma added that he had not yet decided to mediate on the behalf of the Maoists. Sharma will announce his final plan on Wednesday.

The other two mediators named by the rebels - Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan and Chhattisgarh tribal leader Manish Kunjam - have refused to take part in the talks.

Bhushan said he would not mediate since he felt that the abduction was wrong.

"He should be unconditionally released," he said.

Kunjam, however, agreed to take medicines to the IAS officer and was on his way to an undisclosed location near Raipur.

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