Chhattisgarh police have begun efforts to secure the safe and early release of abducted CRPF CoBRA personnel Rajeshwar Singh Manhas and are said to have finalised a list of intermediaries for opening a channel of communication with the Maoists for the purpose.
A source told TOI that the security agencies are “very hopeful” about Maoists handing over the abducted commando unharmed as they are purportedly keen to project a “human” face in the local media, after having justified the recent killing of 22 security personnel as a “retaliatory strike” they were forced to carry out to neutralise the massive anti-Naxal operation launched by the security forces in Bijapur area.
TOI has learnt from reliable sources that the Chhattisgarh police have roped in a set of ‘independent’ emissaries to open a dialogue with the Maoists holding Manhas in their custody. On Wednesday, the CPI(Maoist) put out a photograph of Manhas in which he was looking fine.
The emissaries, who are said to have worked with the CPI(Maoist) in similar situations in the past, are likely to travel to the interiors to talk to the Maoist leaders and convince them for his unconditional release.
“We believe that Maoists are keen to show their ‘human’ side to the locals as well as in the media. Past precedents indicate that Maoists may well agree to free the hostage without putting forth any demands.