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Chhattisgarh CM seeks national policy to deal with hostage crises

May 04, 2012 16:40 IST

In the wake of the 12-day hostage crises that ended after the release of Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Friday sought a national policy to deal with such situations.

"There has to be a national policy to deal with hostage crises. I will ask Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in tomorrow's meeting to call all chief ministers to discuss it. There is a need to discuss it briefly," Singh told reporters.

Stressing that Naxalism is not a state-specific problem, the chief minister said that a national policy can help in tackling the situation in all the affected states.

"I feel there is a need to initiate a policy at the national level. Maoism is not a state problem. It is a problem of the country," he said.

Menon, who was abducted on April 21 in Sukma district while touring a village, was on Thursday handed over to the two Maoist mediators -- B D Sharma and Professor G Hargopal -- at Tadmetla.

"The release of the Sukma collector is a matter of relief and happiness for us. The agreement between the government and Maoist mediators will be a milestone to create a positive atmosphere in Chhattisgarh", Singh said.

He said, as promised, a committee was constituted within an hour of the collector's release.

"The committee will be headed by former chief secretary of Madhya Pradesh Nirmala Buch. The committee will review all the pending cases of all prisoners languishing in Chattisgarh jails, including the cases demanded by the Maoists on a priority basis," the CM added.

Singh also said the three-member committee, comprising the state chief secretary and the director general of police, held a meeting on Thursday.

"The committee is also holding a meeting today also. It is a permanent committee. No time limit has been set for deciding on the cases," he said.

The chief minister said there was no secret deal or any quid pro quo between the Naxals and the state government behind the release of Menon.

"There was no secret deal. There is nothing secret in the world. All dialogues and discussions were held between the mediators. We have put up a copy of the agreement between the state government and Maoist mediators on our website," he said.

Singh said that the state government will provide all necessary help to the families of Menon's two security officers -- Amjad Khan and Kishan Kujur -- who were killed by Maoists.

"The government is working for the development of the people. Many positive steps are being taken. And if Maoists abduct officials like Menon, who are pro-development, then it is a wrong thing which needs to be condemned. It clearly exposes the falseness of their claim of no-development in the region," he said.

When asked whether operations against Maoists was going on in the state, Singh said, "Let me clarify, there is nothing like Salwa Judum and Operation Green Hunt. There is no existence of such things".

The chief minister of the BJP ruled state is in the national capital to attend a meeting called by the central government to discuss the National Counter Terrorism Centre on Saturday.

"We will talk on the matter. We will keep Chhattisgarh's stand in the meeting tomorrow. I cannot discuss it today," Singh added.

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