The release of Chhattisgarh’s Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon by Moaists after 12 days of captivity has come as a big relief for everyone. But the grounds on which he has been released should be divulged. It is hard to believe that criticism forced the Naxals to free Menon. It is to be noted that the hostage crisis in Odisha came to an end only after the Naveen Patnaik government agreed to the Maoist demands. Whether it was the abduction of the Italians or the MLA or the Malkangiri DM, the Maoists in each case forced the government to heed to their demands. Despite releasing Alex Paul Menon the Maoists do not deserve any sympathy. People should not paint a positive picture of them for releasing Menon. They are the same people who while abducting the Collector killed two of his security guards. Ironically there isn’t any mention of the guards who had been killed in the encounter.

It is commendable that in spite of remaining in Maoist captivity for 12 days the Sukma Collector is willing to continue working in the same district. But sadly not everyone can display the same courage and will power. Officials working in the Naxal affected areas live in constant fear of being killed. Every day a security personnel is killed fighting the Naxals but nothing much is done as it is assumed that such instances cannot be stopped. This attitude only strengthens the courage of the Naxals. It is sad that neither the state governments nor the Centre have shown political will to fight the menace especially at a time when Naxalism is emerging as the gravest threat to internal security. It is true that Naxalism cannot be overpowered only with force but we should neither become so laid back that it makes them daring. Unfortunately, the government’s attitude in dealing with the menace has not been very positive.