Maoists to release collector Thursday

Raipur, May 2: Maoist guerrillas Wednesday said they will release kidnapped Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon Thursday.

In a message to some media organisations, the rebels said Menon, in their captivity since April 21, would be handed over to mediators G. Hargopal and B.D. Sharma in the presence of a gathering in Tarmetla.

The Maoist and government mediators Wednesday signed a two-page agreement.

The Chhattisgarh government might fly the mediators to Tarmetla in Sukma district by chopper to receive Menon, said an official source.

Another source said the Maoists might have kept Menon in Kumadtung village, five kilometres from Tadmetla.

Tarmetla is where the Maoists killed 76 paramilitary personnel in April 2010.

Meanwhile, a high power review committee has been set up to consider the cases of the guerrillas lodged in Chhattisgarh jails, said a government official who did not want to be named.

The committee will be headed by Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Nirmala Buch.

Its other members will be Chief Secretary Sunil Kumar, Home Secretary N.K. Aswal and Director General of Police Anil M. Navaney.

On hearing the news about her husband’s possible release Thursday, Asha, his wife, told a news channel: “I’m eagerly waiting for the moment to reunite with Sir (Menon)”.

IANS