Maoists free abducted cops in Chhattisgarh

Maoists released five Chhattisgarh policemen in Bastar region whom they had abducted on Jan 25 from a passenger bus.

Updated: Feb 11, 2011, 22:37 PM IST

Raipur: Maoists released five Chhattisgarh policemen on Friday night in the state`s restive Bastar region whom they had abducted Jan 25 from a passenger bus. The rebels handed over the policemen to a team of social and rights activists led by Swami Agnivesh.

The abducted policemen, three head constables, Raghunandan Dhruv, Ramadhar Patel, T Ekka and two constables, Ranjan Dubey and Manishankar, are from Chhattisgarh Armed Forces (CAF). They were released in a thickly forested area in Narayanpur district that falls under Abujhmad area.

The nearly 4,000 sq km Abujhmad area is home to India`s top Maoist leaders for decades where police don`t venture as it is protected by multiple layers of landmines. Policemen claim that it is one of India`s most densely forested areas where even the sun`s rays barely penetrate.

Armed Maoists stormed a passenger bus Jan 25 in an interior location in Narayanpur district and abducted five CAF personnel besides a civilian. They released the civilian a few days later but kept the security personnel in their captivity.

The policemen, who were unarmed and not in police uniform, were going to the district headquarters in Narayanpur town from their posting in an interior area after being granted leave.

One of the journalists who was part of the team that travelled with Agnivesh to the Maoists bastion, said, "It was a rare reunion of relatives when Maoists allowed them to meet abducted cops before they were finally released."

The male and female family members of the policemen travelled by foot for several kilometres in the Maoist-commanded jungle pocket. They broke down and hugged the policemen when the rebels produced them before the team.

The relatives thanked the rebels for freeing the policemen and taking care of them during the period of abduction.