‘Optimistic’ indicators in efforts to hunt launch of kidnapped jawan: Chhattisgarh Police

Raipur, April 8

Chhattisgarh Police on Thursday said there have been “positive developments” in their efforts to secure the release of a CoBRA commando, who was abducted by Naxals after a gun-battle in the Bastar region on April 3.

However, the police refused to divulge any further details until some concrete breakthrough is achieved.

The state government has so far not named interlocutors, as demanded by Maoists, to mediate in the release process.

Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, a commando of the 210th battalion of CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), an elite unit of the CRPF, had gone missing after the fierce gunfight with Naxals on Saturday.

On Tuesday, the outlawed CPI (Maoist) issued a statement in Hindi saying its cadres had abducted Manhas from the site of the ambush, and demanded that the Chhattisgarh government appoint interlocutors to ensure his safe release.

“Efforts are on to bring back the abducted CoBRA jawan safely. There are a few positive developments in this direction since Thursday morning,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P said.

“The details would be disclosed once some concrete breakthrough is achieved in this regard,” he added.

The Maoists have not raised any formal demands for the release of the commando.

Manhas was part of a squad that had gone for an anti- Naxal operation in jungles on the Bijapur and Sukma border on the night of April 2, hours before the deadly ambush.

On Saturday, the gunfight broke out between security forces and ultras between Tekalguda and Jonaguda villages in which 22 troopers were killed and 31 others injured.

Out of the 22, eight were from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), including seven CoBRA commandos and one jawan of its ‘Bastariya’ battalion, eight from the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and six from the Special Task Force (STF). PTI

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