New Delhi: Responding to the Maoist’s call to appoint a mediator for the safe release of CRPF commando Rakeshwar Singh Manhas from their captive, the Centre has asked the Chhattisgarh Government to negotiate with them, a source in the security set up said here on Wednesday, adding that in past too, the state Government had negotiated with them to get release the Baster Collector Alex Paul Menon in 2012.
The State Government in turn has sent a sent a message to the ultras to nominate the negotiator of their choice and also given the option of selecting 'mediators from the civilian side', said the Government sources, justifying by saying that the State Government was better placed to narrow down upon and select ideal persons for talks and ensure prisoner’s release.
The CRPF jawan from its elite COBRA unit has been allegedly made captive after a fierce gun battle between the security forces and the Naxals on Saturday afternoon in Chhattisgarh.
Soon after the deadly showdown was over, the Maoists had sounded through a couple of local journalists about Manhas’s hostage. Soon after the deadly showdown was over, the Maoists sounded through a couple of local journalists about Manhas being taken hostage.
Instead of addressing media, the Maoists on Tuesday issued a two-page Press-note on the letterhead of Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DSZC) of CPI (Maoists) addressed to the general public, mentioned about the captured CRPF personnel saying that he has been treated of his injuries.
The press note was signed by DSZC spokesman Vikalp who asked the Government to “first notify interlocutors for the prisoner who would later be handed over and until then he will be in the custody of Jantaana Sarkar (or so called people’s government)”.
Reacting to the Government authorities, who wanted to be sure of the veracity of Maoists claims, they circulated a photo of the captive Minhas on Wednesday, has renewed pressure for talks with Maoists.
The single photo of CRPF personnel released on Wednesday showing him sitting alone under a temporary shelter.
Meanwhile, acknowledging the Maoist’s letter on social media, the CRPF Director General Kuldeep Singh on Wednesday said that the state government would be nominating negotiator and so far, he had not received any intelligence input about the abducted jawan.
Claiming that the Saturday Operation was not a failed one, Mr Singh said that there were no operational lapses. "We had a specific input about the large presence of the Naxals and accordingly we planned an operation," he said, adding that CRPF personnel retaliated with full might, causing a heavy loss to their side too.