(This was originally posted in The Economic Times)
The Chhattisgarh Police on Friday said no arrested Maoist had been freed to secure the release of abducted commando Rakeshwar Singh Manhas. There were reports that a tribal identified as Sukka Kunjam was set free before the Maoists handed over Manhas to a group of mediators. Inspector general of police Sundaraj P denied the reports.
He said a few villagers had accompanied the jawans to the base camp after the April 3 encounter with the militants and had since returned to their villages. “Sukka Kunjam of Tekalgudem might be one such villager,” he said, adding: “So far, no one has been arrested in relation to the Tekalgudem encounter case.”
In 2011, the Odisha government had released five jailed Maoists to secure the release of Malkangiri district collector R Vineel Krishna.
In Chhattisgarh, Manhas was released following negotiations primarily with two people. One of them, nominated by the state government, was Dharmapal Saini, a 91-year-old activist who is known for his works to empower tribal girls through education, while the other was Gondwana Samaj president Telam Boraiya. Journalists Ganesh Mishra and Mukesh Chandraker and state officials were also involved in the talks.
The Communist Party of India (Maoist) is a Maoist communist political party and militant organization in India which aims to overthrow the government of India through people’s war