CRPF trooper’s family celebrates news of release

Jammu, April 8 (IANS) Family members of CRPF commando Rakeshwar Singh Manhas on Thursday celebrated the news of his release by Maoists.

Manhas, who was in the Central Reserve Police Force’s elite CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) went missing, following a major gunfight between Maoists and security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district on April 3, which left 22 security personnel dead. The Maoists had earlier this week announced that he was in their custody, and sought appointment of an interlocutor to discuss his release, before suddenly releasing him on Thursday evening.

Neighbours and family members reached his residence in Jammu. They raised slogans and celebrated the news of his release by distributing sweets. His wife said she had not slept since he was made captive by the Maoists.

“I want to thank the Prime Minister. I wasn’t able to sleep for the last six days,” said Meenu.

“I am very happy that he has been released… we just got the news,” said his brother Sahil.

The family members of Manhas, 35, who belonged to Jammu, had protested here and appealed to the government to secure his release.