Maoists release abducted CRPF commando

NEW DELHI: After five days in Maoist captivity, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel Rakeshwar Singh Manhas walked free on Thursday evening after the rebels released him at an undisclosed location in the forests of South Bastar in Chhattisgarh.
“It was an unconditional release. The abducted CRPF’s CoBRA battalion commando was handed over to social worker Dharamlal Saini and tribal community leader Telam Boraiya, who were the emissaries for his release”, official sources confirmed.
Manhas is currently at the Basaguda police station.
Bijapur SP Kamlochan Kashyap said, “as soon as we got to know about Maoists’ demanding the government to constitute a team of interlocutors, we immediately formed a group of local social workers and few journalists and requested them to go inside forest and get the jawan released.”
The jawan from CoBRA’s 210th battalion hails from Jammu and was part of anti-Naxalite operation on April 2 and 3 when the force left from Tarrem camp in Bijapur.
“I have received official communication of his safe return. His health condition is good. Today is the happiest day of my life. I always remained hopeful of his return,” said Meenu, wife of CRPF jawan Rakeshwar Singh Manhas.
The operation led to a fierce gun-battle with Maoists in Tekulguda village leaving 22 security personnel dead.
Later, Maoists had released a press statement saying that they have abducted the CoBRA jawan who had been missing and demanded that the government should give names of interlocutors for jawan’s release.