Raipur (Chhattisgarh): A day after claiming to have held captive the Central Reserve Police Force’s (CRPFs) jawan who went missing since the deadly encounter in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur, the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) has now shared a purported photo of the commando in their custody. 

Speaking to ABP News, Bijapur based reporter Ganesh Mishra claimed that the Naxalites contacted him on Tuesday evening at about 5 PM and informed, ” I got a call of their spokesperson through an unknown number. The jawan was shot, medical treatment is being given and is in stable condition. We will release the jawan in two days if a team is constituted by the government for talks with them. The Maoists want the government to give a confirmation of who will be in the mediation panel from their end.”

The reporter further claimed that the Maoists have shared with him a photo of  Commando Rakeshwar Singh in the possession of Naxalites. He claimed that the Maoists group has demanded the state government to appoint a team of mediator for the release of the commando. The state government, however, believes there can’t talks if conditions are set by Maoists who are indulging in such kinds of heinous violence. 

CRPF’s Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, from the 3.25 lakh strong paramilitary force’s elite CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), went missing during  a fierce gun battle with a platoon of over 300 People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district last week in which 22 security personnel were killed and 31 injured. 

Efforts are on to rescue the missing soldier, who is being held captive by Maoists group. Meanwhile, the family of Rakeshwar Singh back in Jammu are keeping their fingers crossed. Thousands of people staged protests and blocked the Jammu-Poonch highway today, urging the authorities to rescue the jawan. 

The family members have alleged that the government is maintaining silence and not taking anyll step in the matter. “If the Government of India can get Abhinandan released from Pakistan, then why is there a delay in the case of Rakeshwar Singh?” 

According to sources, the Home Ministry is constantly taking updates from CRPF officers in the matter. If sources are to be believed, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla himself is keeping an eye and efforts to rescue the jawan has been intensified.

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