Collector abduction: CM calls all-party meet, 'trying our best'
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Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh today said the state government was trying its best to ensure the safe release of Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon who was abducted by naxals on Saturday.
Singh said the state government has been in continuous touch with the Centre since the IAS officer was kidnapped on Saturday by ultras from Majhipara village where he was attending a government outreach programme.
"All neighbouring states have been alerted about the abduction and there is better coordination among all states. We are continuously in touch with the Centre," the chief minister said.
He also informed an all-party meeting has been convened in Raipur this evening and the suggestions at the meeting could be helpful in ensuring the release of the collector.
Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police Ram Nivas (anti-Naxal operations) said the abducted IAS officer was "safe" even as his captors were frequently changing hideouts.
"The state police is in touch with their counterparts from bordering states," he said, adding the security of senior officers in Naxal areas has been increased following the incident.
Maoists have demanded the release of 8 jailed comrades in exchange for the IAS officer's freedom. The deadline set is April 25.
Meanwhile, faced with repeated hostage situation in Naxal affected states, the Centre plans to seek cooperation from all states in preparing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to deal with any crisis arising out of kidnapping.
The Home Ministry is likely to write to all states and ask them to put forward their views on formulating an SOP to deal with any hostage situation, official sources said.
The necessity of an SOP arose in view of problems faced by the Odisha government following abduction of BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka and two Italians and subsequent Naxal demands to release jailed colleagues.
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