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Agnivesh Appeals To Maoists Not To Harm Abducted Policemen

New Delhi, Sep 27: Religious leader Swami Agnivesh today appealed to Maoists not to harm four policemen whom they have taken hostage in Chhattisgarh and treat them as Prisoners of War (PoWs). "I have learnt
PTI September 27, 2010 23:10 IST
PTI
New Delhi, Sep 27: Religious leader Swami Agnivesh today appealed to Maoists not to harm four policemen whom they have taken hostage in Chhattisgarh and treat them as Prisoners of War (PoWs).

"I have learnt that Maoists have issued an 48-hour ultimatum to government. I appeal to Maoists that now they have taken hostage of them as PoWs, no bodily harm should be done to them," Agnivesh told PTI.

His appeal came against the backdrop of Chattisgarh Government stepping up efforts to ensure a safe release of the four policemen, who were abducted by Maoists in Bijapur district eight days ago. The deadline ends tomorrow night.

 The Naxals have demanded halting state government's 'Operation Green Hunt' against them, releasing imprisoned Naxals, stopping "police atrocities" and initiating peace talks in exchange of the release of the abducted policemen.

 Agnivesh claimed that he was trying to contact Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh but could not reach him or his personal secretary through telephone.

  "I had spoken to police chief Vishwaranjan but he is not in a position to tell me that he was ready for a negotiation," Agnivesh said.

He said he will contact Central government for its intervention in the matter as a decision on the demands raised by the Maoists could not be made by a state government.

Seven policemen, including an Assistant Sub Inspector, an SPO and three constables, were abducted by Naxals on September 19 from Bhopalpatnam near Chhattisgarh-Andhra Pradesh border.

The bodies of three of them were discovered two days later with Maoist literature. According to police, a woman relative of an SPO is also in Naxal captivity. PTI