e-cigarette review NEWS: India Maoists to free abducted official Alex Paul Menon

Thursday, May 3, 2012

India Maoists to free abducted official Alex Paul Menon

An Indian official kidnapped by Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh state is due to be freed after 12 days in custody.
 Alex Paul Menon
Alex Paul Menon, who was kidnapped on 21 April, will be handed over to mediators in Tadhmetla village in Sukma district, the rebels have said.
Mr Menon is the most senior government official in Sukma, part of Maoist-dominated Bastar region.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the rebels as India's biggest internal security threat.
The rebels had earlier set a deadline of 25 April for his release which was later extended to 2 May.
On Monday, mediators from the two sides met and reached an agreement on Mr Menon's release.
On Tuesday, the rebels said they would release Mr Menon on Thursday morning.
'Utmost concern' Retired bureaucrat BD Sharma and social activist Professor G Hargopal - who have been negotiating on behalf of the rebels - have reached the area where Mr Menon is to be handed over to them.
An agreement signed between the government and the rebel negotiators was released to the press on Monday.
"The matter which is of utmost concern to the mediators is the well being of Alex - the young collector who continues to be with the CPI (Maoist), away from his family," the agreement said.
The mediators said they had agreed to set up a high-powered committee which would review allegations of human rights abuses lodged by tribes people and Maoist supporters.
Mr Menon had gone to Manjhipara village to attend a meeting of local tribes people when Maoist insurgents surrounded the area and opened fire.
Two of the official's guards were killed and he was taken away.
Maoists have a strong presence in Chhattisgarh and neighbouring Orissa.
The rebels say they are fighting for a communist state and for the rights of tribal people and the rural poor.


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