Raipur: Recounting the difficult moments
they faced while in Maoist captivity for 12 days, the four
Chhattisgarh policemen today said they were made to walk
blindfolded "miles through the dense forests" and had no idea
what was happening in the outside world.
Assistant Sub-Inspector Sukhram Bhagat and constables
B Toppo, Narendra Bhosle and Subhash Patre, abducted on
September 19, were released deep inside a forest in Naxal-
affected Bijapur district last night.
According to them, they were blindfolded most of the
time and made to walk miles through dense forests on foot.
"We had no idea what was happening in the outside
world. We were constantly haunted by the fear of death," one
of them said, adding they were, however, not physically
They said Yogesh was the `commander` of the Naxals who
held them hostage.
When some mediapersons came to meet the Naxals "we
thought we would be released but our hopes were belied".
When family members of the policemen met them at
Dantewada police headquarters, their joy knew no bounds. The
relatives thanked the media, social activists, Naxals, police
and the state government.
A seven-member police team was raided by Naxals when
it was on its way to Bhadrakali police station from the base
in Bhopalpatnam. Four were kidnapped while three others were
killed by the Maoists.
Expressing happiness at the end of the hostage crisis,
DGP Vishwaranjan thanked the local media and that of
neighbouring Andhra Pradesh for playing a constructive role in
the entire episode.
Asked about the demands put forward by the Naxals,
Vishwaranjan said they were general in nature.
The Maoists had demanded, among other things, a halt
to `Operation Green Hunt`. However, the DGP said the
anti-Naxal operation was of limited period and it has already
come to an end.
Social activist and Maoist ideologue Varvara Rao, who
played a key role in safe release of the policemen, expressed
happiness at the peaceful end of the crisis.
He, however, said that the state government should
stop committing "atrocities" on villagers in the name of
Chief Minister Raman Singh said his government was
open for talks to end the Naxal menace.