Raipur, Apr 25 (IBNS) The deadline set by Chhattisgarh Maoists to meet their demands in exchange of the release of Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon ends Wednesday evening.
The state government is yet to clarify its stand on the release of eight jailed rebels as demanded by the Maoists while the deadline lapses at 5pm.
However, reports from Maoists stronghold of Bastar said the rebels might extend the deadline.
Maoists have demanded the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to release eight key rebels- Marakam Gopannam, Nirmal Akka, Devpal Chandra Shekher Reddy, Shanti Priya Reddy, Meena Chowdhary, Korasa Sunny, Markan Sunny and Asit Kumar Sen.
The Chhattisgarh government on Tuesday named ex-Chief Secretaries of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Nirmala Buch and Suyogya Kumar Mishra, as nominees to hold talks with Maoists to release Menon.
The mediators said their 'top priority' would be to ensure the 'safe' release of Menon.
"Our top priority will be to ensure Menon's safe release," Buch told media.
The Chhattisgarh government on Tuesday sent medicines for Menon after the rebels informed his condition is critical and demanded medical help 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 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.
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.
Menon, 32, 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.