Raipur, Apr 24 (IBNS): The Chhattisgarh government on Tuesday sent medicines for abducted Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon after the rebels informed his condition is critical and demanded medicines for him.
According to sources, the government sent the medicines through All India Adivasi Mahasabha president Manish Kunjam.
Kunjam was earlier named by the Maoists as one of the mediators in connection to the matter.
He declined the offer to negotiate but agreed to take medicines to Menon.
The rebels issued a statement early Tuesday naming three mediators who will bring the medicines to them.
The Maoists named Prashant Bhushan, ex-chairman of National SC/ST Commission B D Sharma and Kunjam and said the medicines should be sent only through them.
Bhushan on Tuesday refused to negotiate on their behalf and urged the rebels to 'unconditionally' release Menon.
"I am not going to be their mediator. I am appealing to the Maoists to unconditionally release the collector," Bhushan told reporters.
"I agree to most of their demands which are justifiable but the collector should not be used as a bargaining chip," he said.
"Menon is an innocent officer. If the government is serious about addressing the root causes of Naxals, I am quite happy to be part of any negotiations then," said the senior lawyer.
The Chhattisgarh government on Monday halted anti-Maoists operations in south Bastar region of the state after the rebels demanded cancellation of Operation Green Hunt against the release of Menon.
Chhattisgarh Maoists also demanded the release of eight jailed rebels in exchange of Menon.
The Maoists set April 25 as deadline for the Chhattisgarh government to meet their demands.
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh will form a sub-committee under his chairmanship to decide on the release of Menon.
The decision was taken at a meeting at Singh's residence late Sunday night after the Maoists set a deadline till Apr 25 to release eight rebels in exchange of Menon.
The sub-committee will include state home minister Nanki Ram Kanwar, tribal welfare minister Kedar Kashyap, water resources minister Ramvichar Netam and school education minister Brijmohan Agrawal.
According to sources, Singh has decided to convene an all-party meeting on the issue soon.
Menon's wife said at this moment she has to hold patience though she is worried about her husband's health since he is an asthma patient and there was not sufficient medicine with him when kidnapped.
"I am concerned about his health. It is more than 24 hours and his medicines with him were only sufficient for a day," said Asha Menon, wife of the collector.
Asha said she has no information of the well being of her husband when on Sunday she spoke to national TV channels.
"We are keeping ourselves calm and composed," said the wife who is expecting a baby too.
She said her husband was concerned about development of the region and city (Sukma) and had a good team to go ahead.
Menon was abducted by the rebels on Saturday at around 4-4:30 pm in a remote village where the bureaucrat was attending a state government-run programme to promote greater coordination and connect between the villagers and administration.
According to media reports, Maoist rebels who hid amongst the crowd had sprang to the dais and tried to kidnap Menon when he was addressing villagers.
When two security guards accompanying the official tried to stop the Maoists, one was shot dead and the other was stabbed and was said to be in a critical condition.
A group of motorcycle-borne rebels then arrived at the scene and whisked away the 32-year-old collector.
Menon is a 2006 batch officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the first collector of Sukma after it was carved out of Dantewada as a new district.