MALKANGIRI: Armed Maoists on Saturday kidnapped Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon in Chhattisgarh. The rebels reportedly opened fire on Menon’s convoy, a 2006 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, when he was on his way back to Sukma district headquarters after attending a meeting. Sukma was carved out from Dantewada and became a new district on January 16, this year.
A police team led by district Superintendent of Police Abhisekh Singh Sandhalya rushed to the spot and launch a combing operation to rescue the Collector.
When contacted, he said Menon’s two bodyguards have been shot dead. About 15-20 Maoists intercepted the District Collector’s convoy at Mandipara, some 22 km from Sukma district headquarters, at about 4.30 pm and forced him to go
When Menon’s two bodyguards offered resistance, the rebels shot them dead, Sandhalya said. A heavy exchange of fire followed between the security forces and the rebels. By the time additional forces reached the spot, rebels had taken the Collector’s jeep into the jungle, the SP said.
A native of Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, Menon took over as the Collector of Sukma on January 16, 2012.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has convened a high-level meeting following the abduction. He said full efforts will be made to secure Menon’s release. “We are analysing the situation,” he added.
Home Minister P Chidambaram spoke to Singh and assured him all help from the Centre. A special team has been constituted to mount concerted rescue efforts for the top district officer.
The sub-divisional magistrate, who was along with Menon at the time of the attack, was let off. Maoists have not made any demands as yet.