Kidnapped CoBRA commando Rakeshwar Singh Manhas released by Naxals: Report
A CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) commando, who was kidnapped by Naxals in Chhattisgarh last weekend, has reportedly been released. The commando, Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, was kidnapped by Naxals during an anti-insurgency operation on Saturday. Notably, 22 security personnel were killed during the operation as the Naxals led an ambush and took Manhas captive. Here are more details.
Police sources told the news agency ANI on Thursday that Manhas has been released by Naxals. Speaking to Hindustan Times, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer confirmed that Manhas was released in the "deep jungle" around 5 pm, but was yet to reach the Tarrem camp. CoBRA is a specialized unit of the CRPF. Manhas is a commando with the 210th CoBRA battalion.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Naxals had released a photo of Manhas, confirming that he is in their custody. After the photo was released, authorities said that all efforts were underway to secure the personnel's safe return.
The commando's family had appealed to the central government to ensure that Manhas is released unharmed. Reportedly, he is the sole breadwinner in the family and has a five-year-old daughter. Reacting to the news of his release, his wife, Meenu, told ANI, "Today is the happiest day of my life." "I always remained hopeful of his return. I thank the government," she added.
Roughly 2,000 personnel from six camps were mobilized on Friday night for an anti-insurgency operation after being tipped-off about the presence of two top Maoist leaders in the Jagargunda-Jonaguda-Tarrem belt. On Saturday noon, a 450-strong contingent from Tarrem was ambushed by some 400 Naxals near Jonaguda. 22 security personnel died in the ensuing four-hour-long encounter. 30 sustained injuries and one, Manhas, was reported missing.