Raipur: Reports claimed on Monday that around three hundred Maoists are securing abducted Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon in order to thwart any rescue attempt by the security forces.
As per reports, the security forces and intelligence agencies are in know of the exact location of the Collector. The whereabouts were established after Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) were sent to gather information and capture images of the particular place.
Meanwhile, the Chhattisgarh government has virtually halted its anti-Maoist offensive till Menon is released from captivity, official sources said.
"The whole focus is now to secure the safe and early release of Alex Paul Menon. The anti-Maoist operation issue can follow later on," a senior official at the police headquarters here said.
Maoists have demanded a freeze on Operation Green Hunt against them and the release of eight of their jailed colleagues in exchange for Menon, whom they took hostage on Saturday.
32-year-old Menon, a 2006-batch IAS officer, was abducted on Saturday at Majhipara village in Sukma district in Bastar region where he was meeting villagers for a government outreach programme.
According to officials who were present at Gram Suraj Abhiyan programme at Majhipara village, some 50-odd ultras, including women, had come to the venue and took away Menon after gunning down his guards.
Chhattisgarh Police yesterday claimed to have got some important clues in the case. They have received information that the abducted Sukma Collector was safe.
The state government has also formed a five-member team headed by Chief Minister Raman Singh to look into Maoists` demands. The team includes Public Works Department Minister Brijmohan Agrawal, Water Resources Minister Ramvichar Netam, Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar and Tribal Welfare Minister Kedar Kashyap.
Maoists late Sunday said in a message taped anonymously that Chhattisgarh`s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime must free their colleagues - Marakam Gopannam, Nirmal Akka, Devpal Chandra Shekher Reddy, Shanti Priya Reddy, Meena Chowdhary, Korasa Sunny, Markan Sunny and Asit Kumar Sen - by April 25 in exchange for the kidnapped District Collector.