The Chhattisgarh government on Sunday is assessing all options even as the efforts get underway on various fronts to trace a clue about the district collector Alex Paul Menon (32) who was abducted on Saturday evening from the choupal (villagers meet) at Majhipara in Sukma district.
The state police has sounded high alert across the Bastar zone and sought cooperation from the neighbouring districts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. There is still no progress to know the whereabouts of the 2006-batch IAS officer kidnapped by the guerillas.
Principal secretary to the chief minister, N Baijendra Kumar told HT that the government is fully on job and remain seriously concerned about the safe release of the officer.
“We are evaluating various options. This is not an ordinary kidnapping. We know the Maoists would be first ensuring their own safer location. The government is closely monitoring the situation and working on various strategies”, Kumar said.
The rebels have not issued any statement or demand so far.
“When the Odisha state is remaining clueless about their own abducted MLA after so many days, how can one expect to trace the position of the abducted officer a day after. Our efforts are on to ensure safe and early release of the officer and we have made some headway in tracking the likely pathway followed by the naxalites”, a senior police officer in the state PHQ told HT and added the intensive searching continues.
The Chhattisgarh IAS officers Association meanwhile will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday to take stock of the emerging challenge.
“We cannot sit keeping fingers crossed”, he said and added that the IAS officer apparently invited greater risk moving out in interior areas of red zone with not enough security measures.
According to the unconfirmed reports the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is likely to be pressed into service in the suspected forested areas to trace the possible movement or location of the Maoists and the collector.
The police, however, ruled out saying that any such move might thwart the attempts to secure release of the officer.
The Sukma district is observing a bandh on Sunday against the kidnapping of Menon.