TN parties pitch for collector’s release

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Leaders of various political parties including chief minister J. Jayalalithaa have pledged support to the family of abducted Sukma collector Alex Paul Menon, even as CM wrote to the Prime Minister seeking secure release of the collector.

“Leaders of various political parties have expressed support to us. We hope to get personal audience with the chief minister to apprise her of our anguish and need for succour,” Mr Venugopal, father-in-law of Alex Paul.

Along with a large number of well-wishers, Mr Venugopal accompanied by Mr Varadhas, the collector’s father, and family members participated in a rally at the Marina urging the government to rescue the abducted bureaucrat.

“We hope the appointment with CM materialises soon,” Mr Venugopal told this correspondent.
Ms Jayalalithaa has termed the abduction “very unfortunate” and exuded the hope that Union home ministry would have already taken steps to ensure the safe release of the Sukma collector.

Meanwhile, UPA ally and DMK chief M. Karunanidhi appealed to the Centre to take all steps for the early release of Mr Alex Paul Menon.

“I request the Centre to extend all help to the Chhattisgarh government and ensure his early release,” he urged.

MDMK chief Vaiko too appealed to the PM Manmohan Singh to take “appropriate steps” for the release of Mr Menon.

Kin petition Nellai collector for Alex

There was a flurry of activity at the collectorate here Monday as a few groups sought the safe release of Sukma collector Alex Paul Menon, abducted by Maoists in Chhattisgarh and presented petitions to Tirunelveli collector Selvaraj.

The abducted collector’s cousin Shanthi submitted a petition pleading that the state government, through Mr Selvaraj, ensure the safe release of Mr Menon.

Shanthi is looking after the Sukma collector’s 69-year-old father Varadhas, at Ramnagar, in Tirunelveli.

In the afternoon, around 50 men and women from Mahiladi, which is the native village of Mr Menon’s mother, submitted a separate petition to Mr Selvaraj, who assured that he would communicate the sentiments of all sections to the government for the speedy and safe retrieval of Mr Menon.

A special prayer was organised at Rose Mary matriculation higher secondary school seeking divine intervention for the safe release of its alumnus, Mr Menon, from the clutches of the Maoists.

Some of the local leaders of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and Congress came in separate groups to the Tirunelveli collector’s office demanding steps for the safe retrieval of Mr Menon.

VCK leader Amutha Mathiyazhagan is a distant relative of Alex Paul Menon, a dalit Christian.

Balasubramanian, another distant relative of the abducted collector, accompanied Congressman Sivaji Sivakumar who came with a banner in which their demand was written in blood.

When contacted, Mr Menon’s father just said he would be ever grateful to all those who showed solidarity with his family during this testing time.

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