Armed Maoists meet their interlocutors in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: Armed Maoists received both their interlocutors, bearing the Chhattisgarh government's response to their demands for release of abducted Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon, in a jungle pocket in violence-hit Bastar region yesterday afternoon, raising hopes of the official's safe and early release.
The interlocutors — Hyderabad-based professor G Hargopal and former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer BD Sharma — reached Bastar by a chopper arranged by the state. The video footage aired by a local TV channel showed that Hargopal and Sharma travelled several kilometres as pillion riders on motorcycles from Chintalnar to Tarmetla where the armed guerrillas shook hands with them on camera.
The two journalists of the news channel who carried the interlocutors as pillion riders were thoroughly checked by armed Maoists who vanished into the jungles with Hargopal and Sharma to know what the Chhattisgarh government has decided about their demands.
The Maoists at Tarmetla, the site where rebels massacred 76 government troops in April 2010, said that he came into the jungle with the well wishes of the tribals and the “sole purpose” of the collector’s release. Officials said the Maoists’ interlocutors are likely to return from the rebels’ hideouts either late Saturday evening or today