Chennai/Tirunelveli: "I feel happy as a parrot that has just been let off from a cage," said Varadhas, father of Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon, who was released after being held in captivity by Maoists for 12 rpt 12 days.
An overjoyed Varadhas, who shared sweets with family and friends soon after hearing the news, said he had spent sleepless nights and had not eaten well from the day his son was abducted.
A celebratory mood pervaded Menon`s houses in Chennai and Tirunelveli, minutes after his release as his family members and friends burst crackers and distributed sweets to those who had gathered there.
Friends, relatives and journalists gathered at the IAS officer`s in-laws` house at Mogappair West in Chennai from morning, as information from Raipur indicated his release today.
However, Varadhas desired his son should continue to serve the people of Sukma, as "one should live through the troubles and adversities in life."
Commenting on the Maoists, he said, "The Maoists should not have done that. If they had any problem, they should have taken it up with the government. My son was there only to serve the people of Sukma."
He said his son should be provided adequate security cover to continue to serve as Collector in that area.
"I thank all those in Tamil Nadu and the country who prayed for his release. I specially thank the politicians who visited me in person to express solidarity with me."
Menon`s native village Samathanapuram in Tirunelveli district was also in a festive mood, as people burst crackers and distributed sweets on hearing about his release, while villagers offered special prayers.