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    Sukma/Raipur, May 03, 2012: In a significant development, the Maoists today handed over the kidnapped Sukma Collector Alex V F Paul Menon V to their interlocutors Dr Brahma Dev Sharma and Prof G Haragopal at Tadmetla forest in the presence of several top rebel leaders.

     Menon, who was looking healthy but tired, would spend the night at Chintalnar CRPF camp and tomorrow morning proceeds towards Sukma to meet his wife and other family members, official sources said.

     As announced earlier, maoist leaders had handed over the Collector Sukma to Sharma, Haragopal and former CPI MLA Manish Kunjam at Tadmetla forest in Sukma district.

     For receiving the Collector both the interlocutors and Kunjam had flown to Chintalnar.

     The media was kept out of the forest by the Maoists.

     The Maoists had deliberately delayed the release so that in the evening there could not be any police action, even if the government wanted so, inside the forest, where a large number of Maoists leaders have gathered.

     For safe release of Menon the interlocutors from the Government, Nirmala Buch and Suyogya Kumar Misra and the Maoists interlocutors Brahma Dev Sharma and had signed an agreement to form a high power Standing Committee, headed by Nirmala Buch with Chief Secretary and Director General of Police of Chhattisgarh as members.

     The committee would regularly review all cases of persons in jails in the state where investigation/prosecution are still in progress and in such review the lists of cases received by the mediators in respect of tribals of Bastar and surrounding areas would be given priority, Buch has said.

      The committee would give its recommendation to the State Government which will consider these cases with a sense of urgency, she said.

     The committee would become operational within an hour of the release of the Collector Sukma, Buch had stated.

     When the 2006-batch IAS officer was on a tour of the Majhipara area in Sukma District on April 21 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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