Ranchi: Maoists Sunday owned up to abducting a government official in Jharkhand and said the official will be released only after the demands of the guerrillas are met.
Block Development Officer (BDO) Prasant Kumar Layak was abducted by four armed men of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) from Dalbhumgarh block of East Singhbhum in Jamshedpur on Saturday.
CPI-Maoist leader Mangal in a statement to local media owned up responsibility and said that the People's Liberation Guerrillas Army (PLGA) had abducted Layak.
"He would be released only after the demands are fulfilled," Mangal said. The demands include release of seven people arrested on charges of being rebels.
The statement said Layak was abducted to prevent "further corruption" as large-scale graft has been found in the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and other schemes in Dhalbhumgarh block.
Jharkhand police spokesperson V.H. Deshmukh said: "Combing operations are on to rescue the abducted official. We are in touch with our West Bengal counterparts for safe release of Layak."
Senior police officers including Zonal Ranchi range Inspector General of Police Rezi Dundung was camping in Jamshedpur (East Singhbhum) and monitoring the operations. Two helicopters have also been pressed into services to rescue the abducted official.
Layak was abducted when Chief Minister Shibu Soren was on a one-day visit to Jamshedpur. After returning to Ranchi on Saturday night, Soren held an emergency meeting with Chief Secretary Shiva Basant, Director General of Police Neyaz Ahmad and other senior government officials.