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Maoists in Chhattisgarh release image of abducted CoBRA commando


RAIPUR: The outlawed Maoists have released an image of the abducted jawan Rakeshwar Singh Manhas of the CoBRA battalion -- an elite jungle warfare unit of the CRPF -- on Wednesday indicating that he is safe in their custody.

The rebels on Tuesday had expressed their willingness for negotiation had sought that a mediator is appointed by the government to secure the jawan's release.

Earlier a caller who identified himself as a Maoist leader had contacted some journalists in south Bastar claiming that the detained Cobra jawan is “safe and will not be harmed” in their confinement.

The missing jawan is in the captivity of the Maoists after the Bijapur ambush that killed 22 troopers, in south Chhattisgarh on Saturday.

But, Manhas’ cousin Vicky Pangali said the picture purportedly released by Maoists is old.

“It does not prove that he is in their captivity. They should release his latest picture or a small video clip to prove that he is in their captivity so that family knows that he is safe.” 

Meenu said it has been five days since her husband has gone missing and they are praying for his safety.

“I appeal to the PM to rescue him safely. The way Abhinandan (Varthaman) was brought back from Pakistan, he too should be rescued safely. The government should make concrete steps to rescue him.” 

Earlier, Meenu along with other family members, relatives and neighbours blocked vehicles on Jammu-Aknoor road demanding Manhas be rescued at the earliest.

Manhas’ sister made an impassioned appeal to the government for securing his release.

“Please give me my brother back. I beg that my brother be brought back. I want to meet him,” she said.