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Set back to Maoists, Prashant Bhushan, Manish Kunjam refuse to mediate



Raipur, Jagdalpur, New Delhi, April 24, 2012: In a severe blow to the Maoists, senior Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan and CPI leader Manish Kunjam today refused to become Maoists interlocutors for a talk with the Chhattisgarh Government for safe release of kidnapped Sukma Collector Alex V F Paul Menon V.

Refusing to become an interlocutor, Prashant Bhushan said "Taking hostage of a civilian officer and using him as a hostage to negotiate demand is not proper".

"I appeal to the Maoists that they should unconditionally release the officer without using him as a bargaining chip for their demand," he said.

However, the senior advocate said he was agreed to many of the demands of the Maoists, including end to Operation Green Hunt, the term used for anti-Maoists operation by the joint forces.

Meanwhile, former CPI MLA and national President of Adivasi Mahasabha, Manish Kunjam also expressed his reluctance to become a mediator.

Due to regional factor and party decision he cannot become an interlocutor, Kunjam told reporters.

The matter was discussed in the party previously and it was decided that he should not become an interlocutor due to various reasons, the young Communist leader said.

However, he appealed to the Maoists to release the abducted Collector.

When the 2006-batch IAS officer was on a tour on April 21 of the Majhipara area in Sukma District during Gram Suraj Abhiyan, he was confronted by the Maoists guerrilla and after exchange of fire, the civil servant was kidnapped by Maoists after killing both his body guards.

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