Raipur: Amid high speculations of a swap deal between the Chhattisgarh government and Maoists in the release of Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon, Chief Minister Raman Singh and the Maoists' mediators on Friday emphatically said there was no secret deal or any quid pro quo between both the parties in securing the release.

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"There is no secret deal or any understanding to facilitate the release of Alex Paul Menon," Singh told reporters when asked whether there was any understanding between the state government and the rebels to bring to an end the 12-day hostage crisis.


The CM said that the only agreement made between the government and the ultras is the set up of high-powered committee under the chairmanship of Nirmala Buch, one of the two government mediators.

He said the three-member committee, which also included the Chief Secretary and the DGP, had a meeting on Thursday night within one hour as agreed as part of the agreement.

He said the committee will examine the issue of delay in cases of under-trials lodged in different jails in Chhattisgarh. Asked about the bail plea filed by jailed woman Naxal Meena Chaudhary, who was among those whose release was demanded by the rebels for freeing

Menon, Singh asserted that no assurance has been given other than the agreement reached with Maoists.


Meanwhile, the interlocutors B D Sharma and Prof G Hargopal, who got the young IAS officer successfully released from the Maoists custody, said that their job was only to secure Menon’s release and it has been successfully accomplished.

They said that the demands made by the ultras will be reviewed by the proposed three member committee.

“The panel will review the demands of Maoists and will subsequently recommend the release of the three maoist prisoners,” the mediators said in a press conference.

The mediators further denied any secret deal for the freedom of the Collector.

S K Mishra, one of the two Government mediators, also categorically said there was no "secret deal" or any "quid pro quo" between the two sides.

"Everything is in public domain," he said referring to the agreement reached at between the mediators of the state government and the Maoists that paved the way for the release of the official.


Notably, the speculations over the swap deal rose to greater height after the fresh press release of the Maoists claimed that the state government has agreed their demands of releasing the three Maoist prisoners. The release has asked the government to honour the promise by freeing three of the Maoist prisoners with immediate effect and the rest five through the fast track court proceedings.


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