Three eminent persons condemn Hikaka, Menon abductions

Bhubaneswar: Condemning the attack by the Maoists on last Saturday near village Kerlapal in Sukma district in Chhatisgarh in which the ultras killed two security guards and abducted the district collector Alex Paul Menon and the abduction of Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka, three eminent figures of the national namely social activist Nandini Sundar, historian Ramchandra Guha and former top cop E A S Sarma have appealed to the ultras to release the duo immediately and unconditionally.

Describing Alex Paul Menon as an officer who was concerned about the development of the tribals, the three said in a joint statement that by killing the two security personnel and kidnapping Menon who had traversed the rough terrain on a motorcycle the Maoists have shown that they lacked respect for human rights and democratic processes.

The trio too condemned the series of similar acts of abductions and killings on the part of the Maoists during the last few years in Chhatisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand. The three eminent persons stated that the abduction of Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka, kidnapping of former Malkangiri collector Vineel Krishna, the killing of Jharkhand police officer Francis Induwar in 2009 showed that the Maoists have "no compunction in hurting the interests of the tribals and committing crimes against innocent officers and peoples` representatives attending to their call of duty".

The three said in the statement that "if the Maoists care for the tribals and and if they have any respect for human rights, they should release both Alex Paul Menon and Jhina Hikaka immediately and unconditionally."