Collector’s abduction: Two of three ‘mediators’ say no (Lead)April 24th, 2012 - 3:57 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Two of the three mediators named by Maoists to negotiate the release of Chhattisgarh district collector Alex Paul Menon have refused to join talks. While lawyer Prashant Bhushant said he could not mediate while Menon was still in Maoist custody, tribal leader Manish Kunjam cited political reasons.
Maoists late Monday named Supreme Court lawyer and Team Anna member Bhushan, former National Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Commission chairperson B.D. Sharma and All India Adivasi Mahasabha president Kunjam as mediators.
Kunjam told reporters that there were “political reasons as well as local circumstances” behind his decision. “There are two more names on the list. We will personally request these people to mediate and we will give them whatever help necessary.”
Bhushan told reporters that while he considered the Maoists’ demands for release of innocent tribals and ending operation Green Hunt against them “completely justified”, he would not mediate while they held Menon captive.
Bhushan told IANS that he “cannot mediate using an innocent person’s life as a pawn”.
“They should unconditionally release Menon and after that, if they want me to mediate with the government on their behalf, I will do that,” he added.
Sharma was the only person who said he was ready to “take the dialogue forward” but claimed that he wanted to hear the state government’s reaction.
“I got to know around midnight yesterday that my name is on the list. For the dialogue to progress, someone has to take lead. But I would like to hear the state government’s reaction,” Sharma told reporters.
Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury reacted sharply and asked the media not to publicise the comments of “senseless” people like Bhushan.
“If he thinks (Maoists’ demands) are justified, he should go and talk with them. He should understand the plight of the families of those who have been abducted. But who can talk sense with such a senseless person,” she said.
Menon, 32, a 2006 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was Saturday taken at gunpoint by rebels from a forested location when he was interacting with tribals. The Maoists shot dead his two guards.
- I can't mediate using innocent as pawn, says Bhushan - Apr 24, 2012
- Medicines rushed for abducted Menon amid uncertainty over talks (Second Lead) - Apr 24, 2012
- Chhattisgarh names two mediators for Menon's release - Apr 24, 2012
- Maoists' mediator Sharma to set out for Bastar Thursday - Apr 25, 2012
- 'Abducted collector Menon is safe' - Apr 26, 2012
- Abducted collector: Government, Maoist mediators hold talks (Lead) - Apr 26, 2012
- Maoists' mediators reach Raipur - Apr 26, 2012
- Maoists up demand for releasing Menon, want 17 rebels freed - Apr 27, 2012
- Collector's abduction: Tension as Maoist deadline ends (Lead) - Apr 25, 2012
- Collector's abduction: tension as Maoist deadline nears - Apr 25, 2012
- Abducted collector: Maoists' mediators fly to Bastar - Apr 28, 2012
- Abducted Chhattisgarh collector may be freed Wednesday (Lead) - May 01, 2012
- Two kidnappings: Maoists release MLA, hold on to collector (Roundup) - Apr 26, 2012
- Armed Maoists receive interlocutors in Chhattisgarh jungle (Lead) - Apr 28, 2012
- Menon freed, says willing to serve in Sukma again (Lead) - May 03, 2012
Tags: abducted, abduction, adivasi, april 24, chhattisgarh, commission chairperson, innocent person, maoist, maoists, mediators, New Delhi, pawn, plight, renuka chowdhury, scheduled caste, spokesperson, state government, supreme court lawyer, tribal leader, tribals