Raipur: Mediators of the Chhattisgarh government and Maoists have begun fresh talks on Friday in a bid to end the six-day-old hostage crisis involving abducted Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon.
As per reports, Maoists have now demanded that nine more of their leaders be released. They had earlier demanded release of eight of their jailed leaders, including two women, halt to the anti-Maoist offensive "Operation Green Hunt" and sending security forces in Bastar to barracks to set free Menon, who was abducted last Saturday.
Yesterday, mediators of the two sides termed the talks as "positive". A panel of legal experts also assisted in the deliberations.
The mediators from the government side where former chief secretaries of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Nirmala Buch and S K Mishra , from the Maoists’ side former National SC/ST Commission Chairperson B D Sharma, a former Bastar Collector, and Prof G Hargopal took part in the deliberations.
Nirmala Buch told reporters after the talks that the discussions were "positive" and though there was no outcome, the government was confident about a quick resolution of the hostage crisis.
Professor Hargopal said the meeting of the four mediators lasted three hours but it was preliminary in nature though "positive".
Chief Minister Raman Singh said the demands of the abductors would be considered only within the legal framework.