RAIPUR: After 12 days of captivity, abducted Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon has been released by his Maoist captors.
The 32-year-old IAS officer has been handed over to mediators G. Hargopal and B.D. Sharma.
Maoists had kidnapped Menon after killing two of his bodyguards on April 21, while he was meeting with villagers of Majhipara village in the Keralapal area of the Naxal-infected district.
The Naxals had demanded the release of eight colleagues: Markam Gopanna alias Satyam Reddy, Nirmal Akka alias Vijay Laxmi, Devpal Chandrashekhar Reddy, Shantipriya Reddy, Meena Choudhari, Korsa Sunny, Markam Sunny and Asit Kumar Sen.
The ultras also wanted anti-Naxal Operation Green Hunt to be cancelled, security forces to be withdrawn from the region and persons against whom they allege "fake cases" have been registered, released from the jails.
Meanwhile, a high power review committee has been set up to consider the cases of the guerrillas lodged in Chhattisgarh jails, said a government official who did not want to be named.
The committee will be headed by Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Nirmala Buch.
Its other members will be Chief Secretary Sunil Kumar, Home Secretary N.K. Aswal and Director General of Police Anil M. Navaney.
Menon is the first collector of the newly-created Sukma district and was known to be pro-active in undertaking development work in the backward region.
Key words: Maoists, District Collector Alex Paul Menon, review committee, Chhattisgarh, mediators.