Naxals in Chhattisgarh have released a statement wherein they have claimed that the missing Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) commando is in their custody.
The missing jawan has been identified as constable Rakeshwar Singh Manhas of the 210th CoBRA battalion, an elite unit of CRPF. He went missing after the April 3 gunfight between Naxals and security personnel near Sukma-Bijapur border.
The two-page letter, penned by banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), stated that the outfit is willing to negotiate with the Centre. It has asked the government to appoint a mediator to negotiate for the release of Manhas.
“One jawan is in our custody. We are ready to negotiate with the government. They can announce mediators. We will release him (captive jawan). Police jawans are not our enemies,” the outfit said in the letter.
Police are verifying the authenticity of the statement. The banned outfit also admitted that four of its cadres were killed in the encounter in which 22 security personnel had lost their lives.
“The authenticity of the statement issued by Maoists claiming that they have held hostage the jawan is being verified. Further action will be taken accordingly,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P said.