Confusion over release of Sukma collector (Lead)May 3rd, 2012 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS
Raipur, May 3 (IANS) Hours after the fireworks and celebrations began Thursday, confusion persisted over the release of Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon. Meanwhile, the rebels have called mediapersons waiting to receive Menon to Tarmetla.
Menon, who was taken captive by Maoists 12 days ago, had not yet emerged from the rebels hideout till reports last came in.
Mediapersons have been called to Tarmetla from Chintalnar, where they were waiting at a CRPF camp to receive Menon. Tarmetla is 4-5 km away from Chintalnar.
The Maoists sent the waiting mediapersons an SMS asking them to come to Tarmetla.
“There is confusion about the reason for the SMS — will they release him or brief the mediapersons. Yesterday too, the Maoists had sent an SMS saying they would release Menon in Tarmetla,” the source said.
Meanwhile, supporters and friends of Menon had begun to burst firecrackers in celebration at his residence in Sukma town, 500 km from here.
“It is adding to the confusion and there is growing restlessness among the officials. Everyone was expecting him to be released earlier and he was to be medically examined by evening,” the source added.
Menon’s wife Asha is also waiting in Sukma to greet her husband.
Earlier, Menon’s father A. Varadhas, based in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli, reacting to news reports of his release, thanked the Chhattisgarh government and the mediators and rebels. Speaking to reporters, he urged the rebels not to resort to abductions again.
The Maoists mediators - Professor G. Hargopal and B.D. Sharma - are to receive Menon somewhere at the edge of their landmine-protected hideout, located more than 500 km south of state capital Raipur.
Tarmetla in Sukma is where the Maoists had killed 76 paramilitary personnel in April 2010.
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