"Chattisgarh government and the Maoists have named mediators on their behalf and the state government has also taken a positive initiative towards opening a communication channel in ensuring safe release of the collector. (In this background) I am hoping that he (Menon) will be freed soon," Kunjam told reporters.
The state government on Tuesday rushed medicines for Menon through Kunjam hours after the Maoists informed them that Menon was "critically ill".
Kunjam said the collector's condition was stable. The state government has virtually slowed down its anti-Maoist operations in view of ensuring safe release of the collector.
Kidnapped collector Alex Paul Menon (File photo)
The Maoists have named former National SC/ST Commission Chairperson B D Sharma and Prof G Hargopal as interlocutors on their behalf to hold negotiations.
Sharma has already arrived at Raipur and Hargopal is expected to reach later in the day. On its part, the Chhattisgarh Government has named former Chief Secretaries of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh--Nirmala Buch and S K Mishra -- as its nominees to resolve the six-day hostage crisis.
Earlier, the Maoists had named Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, former National SC/ST Commission chairperson BD Sharma and president of All India Adivasi Mahasabha Manish Kunjam as their mediators.
Even as efforts are on to secure the release of abducted Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon, a page created for the IAS officer by his family and friends on a social networking site has become a big hit.
The page 'Free Alex Paul Menon', till now has already registered more than 2,500 hits and the numbers are rising.
However, Bhushan and Kunjam declined to mediate on behalf of the Maoists but the latter had agreed to take medicines to the 32-year-old 2006 batch IAS officer who was taken captive on Saturday from Majhipara village in Raipur district.