Raipur: The fate of Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon in Chhattisgarh hangs in balance even as the government has appealed to the Maoists for an extension of their deadline.
One of the handpicked interlocutors of the Maoists, B D Sharma, will be reaching Bastar on Thursday to begin talks with them.
The Maoists have demanded the release of 8 jailed leaders, including two women for the safe release of Menon, who was abducted from Sukma on Saturday.
Even as the deadline set by the Maoists, expired on Wednesday, there has been no confirmation on who will actually negotiate the release of Sukma collectors Alex Paul Menon.
The Naxals had suggested the name of professor G Hargopal, but they did not give their approval to the negotiators suggested by the government – former IAS officers Nirmala Buch and S K Mishra.
On Wednesday, CNN-IBN travelled with CPI leader Manish Kunjam who went into the jungles to deliver medicines to the collector.
A bagful of medicines was delivered to the Naxals for the abducted collector and it suggests that it will take some time for the deadlock to end. The first deadline set by the Naxals has already ended and there is still no forward movement as far as negotiations are concerned.
Back at the district headquarters Alex's brother Anand is praying for his early release.
"We hope he will be released. We are waiting for Kunjam," said Anand.
Meanwhile, there is no police movement in Bastar as all security forces have returned to barracks.