Maoists release CRPF jawan taken hostage after Bijapur encounter

Rakeshwar Singh Manhas was released after the state government formed a team of two interlocutors to negotiate his release

Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, a Jammu resident from CRPF’s elite CoBRA unit was held captive by the Maoists after the Bijapur gunfight

Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, the CRPF jawan who was taken hostage by Maoists following a deadly encounter in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, was released on Thursday (April 8), almost after 100 hours of being held captive.

He was released after the state government formed a team of two interlocutors to negotiate his release.

Confirming the news, a CRPF officer said he was released in “deep jungle” at 5 pm and was subsequently bought to the CRPF camp in Bijapur.

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“Today is the happiest day of my life. I always remained hopeful of his return,” ANI quoted Manhas’ wife Meenu as saying.

As many as 22 jawans were killed when Maoists ambushed 2,000 security personnel who on a tip off had launched a search for a rebel naxal leader in Sukma-Bijapur on April 3. Thirty-five-year-old Manhas was taken hostage by the ultras following the gunfight.

The ultras on Wednesday had released a photograph of the jawan, a commando with 210th CoBRA battalion of the CRPF, a day after demanding to appoint mediators to negotiate his release.

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