Abducted IAS officer's kin put pressure on TN govt
With no word yet on the condition of the abducted Sukuma Collector Alex Paul Menon, pressure mounted on the Tamil Nadu government on Monday from the IAS officer’s family to press for his release.
Amid a flurry of emotional pleas from close kin of Menon, particularly from his parents and his in-laws, Chief Minister J Jayalalitha wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to take immediate steps for the collector’s release.
“It is very unfortunate that the officer was abducted while discharging his official duties,” Jayalalitha said in her letter. Though the Centre and the Ministry of Home Affairs have already initiated steps, Jayalalitha stressed that “the local people, including the family of the abducted officer, are greatly exercised over the incident, especially since the officer is not keeping well”.
“I, therefore, strongly urge that immediate steps be taken by the Government of India towards securing the early and safe release of the abducted officer and thereby bring relief to his family,” Jayalalitha pleaded to the prime minister.
Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Vaiko personally called on Menon’s father A Varadhas, a retired school teacher, and T R Venugopal and Ananthi, the collector’s in-laws, at the IAS officer’s residence in Chennai on Monday.
Vaiko said the entire family is in tears since his abduction by the Maoists. The collector’s wife who is pregnant is shattered and suffering inconsolable agony and grief, Vaiko said in his letter to the prime minister. He said Menon had dedicated himself to the noble service of the country.
In his letter, Vaiko further said, “With a heavy heart, I would request you to take appropriate steps for the safe return of Alex Paul Menon and wipe off the tears of his family.”
DMK president M Karunanidhi, too, joined in the appeal urging the prime minister and the Central government “to extend all possible assistance” to the Chhattisgarh government to enable the early and safe release of Menon.
“We still don’t know the reasons for Menon’s abduction by the Maoists, while his wife has sent a moving appeal for his early release,” Karunanidhi said here. Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was in constant touch with the Chhattisgarh chief minister to resolve the crisis. The Maoists on Saturday abducted the Tamil Nadu-born IAS officer from Majhipara village in Chattisgarh where he was meeting villagers in a government outreach programme.