X
UCA News

India

Abducted collector back at his post

Alex Paul Menon resumes duties in tribal area after 12-day abduction by Maoist rebels

Francis Maria Britto, Raipur

Francis Maria Britto, Raipur

Updated: May 07, 2012 10:12 AM GMT
Abducted collector back at his post

Chhattisgarh's Sukma district collector resumed his duties over the weekend just two days after his release by Maoist rebels. Menon’s zeal to work in the Maoist-infested region has not diminished after his 12-day ordeal following his kidnapping by rebels, according to a priest who knows the collector. “He regrets the killing of his bodyguards rather than his own sufferings,” said Fr. Biju Uppanmackal, a parish priest in Sukma. Menon was abducted by Maoists on April 21 in Manjhipara village, where he had gone to attend a villagers’ meeting. “Menon’s willingness to work here is a great inspiration for me,” the priest said yesterday. As the first collector of the newly formed Sukma district in January 2012, Menon took a keen interest in the development of poor tribals and the backward area. Though a native of Tamil Nadu state and a member of the Church of South India, Menon attends services in one of the protestant churches in Sukma. Praising his concern for the tribals, Fr. Uppanmackal said, “He is really concerned for the poor tribals here. There are many people waiting to greet him.” Chief minister Raman Singh told reporters recently that he was ready to continue dialogue with the Maoist rebels if they eschewed violence. As part of the collector’s rescue deal, the state government officially constituted a high-powered standing committee, headed by Nirmala Buch, a former chief secretary, to review the estimated 400 cases filed against the Maoists. Meanwhile, Brahmadeo Sharma, former collector of Bastar district, which previously included Sukma, has questioned alleged human rights violations of the tribals. The Maoist-appointed interlocutor and founder of the Bharat Jan Antholan (Indian People’s Revolution) said the problems of the rebels will not be solved as long as the government imposes its authority over the tribals’ land and jungle. He told the media in Raipur on May 5 that the tribals’ forests and mineral wealth “have been virtually looted and they are left with no resource” for development. Sharma added that “we are confident that [Menon] will stand by the poor, defend their natural rights and earn a place in the hearts of the vulnerable sections of society.” Related reports: Maoists under fire for abduction

Subscribe to your daily free newsletter from UCA News
Thank you. You are now signed up to Daily newsletter
Related News

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
 
Contribute and get the Mission in Asia PDF Book/e-Book Free!
Contribute and get the Mission in Asia PDF Book/e-Book Free!
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia