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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Collector's safety top priority, say state mediators

PTI  Raipur, April 24, 2012
First Published: 19:25 IST(24/4/2012) | Last Updated: 20:42 IST(24/4/2012)

Two former chief secretaries of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, who were, on Tuesday, named as nominees for talk with naxals, have said that ensuring "safe" release of the abducted collector Alex Paul Menon will be their top priority.

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Chhattisgarh government on Tuesday named former chief secretaries of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh--Nirmala Buch and Suyogya Kumar Mishra--as its nominees to hold talks with the ultras who kidnapped the 32-year-old IAS officer on Saturday.

"My top priority will be to ensure safe release of collector Alex Paul Menon and I hope that the crisis will be resolved soon through dialogue," Buch, who will be leaving for Chhattisgarh shortly, told PTI over phone from Bhopal.

She said that the future plan of action will be finalised after holding discussions with the Chhattisgarh government.

Former chief secretary of Chhattisgarh government SK Mishra told PTI that he hopes that the entire crisis will be resolved through dialogue.

When asked about the Maoists putting up demands for collector's release, Mishra said he had no official information about them.

"Whatever information I have on this matter is only through media," he said, adding safe release of the IAS officer will be the top priority.

When asked about the ultras setting April 25 as the deadline for government to release eight of their jailed associates in exchange of the collector's freedom, Mishra said, "the negotiations in this regard may take some time".

Meanwhile, senior officials of the Chhattisgarh government on Tuesday said that a crucial meeting of the ministerial sub-committee, formed in the wake of the kidnapping incident, might be held on Tuesday.


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