Raipur: Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) COBRA jawan who was kidnapped during a deadly encounter in Chhattisgarh’ Bijapur on April 3, was released after five days of Maoist captivity, said the Bastar police officials on Thursday.
The release was secured with the help of an 11-member committee of mediators, including social workers and local journalists; there were two arbiters from the Maoist side.
Before being handed over to the interlocutors, Manhas was presented in the Jan Adalat (Kangaroo Court) thronged by scores of villagers and surrounded by 50 armed naxals.
The 'trial' took place in the jungles of Junneguda under Tarrem police limits, 15 kilometers away from the site of the massacre, revealed a journalist who was part of the negotiating committee. However, he refused to reveal the exact location of the Jan Adalat citing security reasons.
The kangaroo court was held after the crack of dawn but the most wanted Naxal commander, Hidma, the mastermind of the encounter, was absent. It is unclear which demands of the Naxals, if any, have been met.
After his release, Manhas was brought to the CRPF camp -- the area where the encounter took place; he was ferried to the spot on the bike of a local journalist.
Later, IG Bastar Sundarraj P said in the press note that the abducted jawan had returned safely to Tarrem Police Station along with the facilitators.
The jawan has been admitted to Basaguda field hospital for debriefing and medical examination. After completion of inquiries, he was airlifted to Raipur for questioning.
The jawan was released due to joint efforts of the Central and state government officials, a government press release said. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel expressed his joy at the release and extended his greeting to social activist Dharampal Saini, social organizations and local journalists for providing their active support in securing the jawan's freedom, the release said.