No breakthrough in Government-Maoist talks over Sukma Collector’s release

Raipur, Apr 30:The deadlock over the release of abducted Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon persists, with yet another round of talks between the representatives of Chhattisgarh Government and the Maoist rebels ending in a stalemate.

The Maoists had kidnapped Menon after killing two of his bodyguards on April 21, while he was meeting with villagers of Majhipara village in the Keralapal area of the Naxal-infected district.

Later, when the government sought his release, the ultras proposed the names of former Chairman of National SC/ST Commission B D Sharma and academician Professor G Hargopal as interlocutors.

The state government is being represented by former chief secretaries Nirmala Buch of Madhya Pradesh and Suyogya Kumar Mishra of Chhattisgarh.

A consensus over several critical points is yet to be reached between the Maoists and the state government.

Buch has refused to divulge details of the core issues discussed.

“The mediators appointed by the Maoists have told us the main points they have conveyed to the ultras regarding the government’s stand in the case. We will convey the points raised and discussed by them to the state government, and revert to you with further details after some time,” Buch told media here.

Meanwhile, Secretary to the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister (Public Relations) Bejendra Kumar, termed the talks as ‘positive,’ but refrained from revealing any concrete breakthrough.

“The government-appointed negotiators, Buch and Mishra, had come here and gave a detailed account of what transpired in the discussions that occurred throughout the day. The talks have been positive. Our hopes have been raised with these discussions,” he said.

The Naxals have demanded the release of eight colleagues: Markam Gopanna alias Satyam Reddy, Nirmal Akka alias Vijay Laxmi, Devpal Chandrashekhar Reddy, Shantipriya Reddy, Meena Choudhari, Korsa Sunny, Markam Sunny and Asit Kumar Sen.he ultras also want anti-Naxal Operation Green Hunt to be cancelled, security forces to be withdrawn from the region and persons against whom they allege “fake cases” have been registered, released from the jails.enon is the first collector of the newly-created Sukma district and was known to be pro-active in undertaking development work in the backward region. (ANI)