Chhattisgarh ambush: Missing Jammu jawan’s wife appeals Naxals to release him

Jammu:; Family members of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan, who went missing following an encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh on Saturday, have appealed his ‘abductors’ to release him.

Rakeshwar Singh Manhas from Lower Barnai area was a part of the CRPF team that was attacked by the Naxals.

Manhas, as per his wife Meenu, was abducted by the Naxals.

“I talked to my husband on Friday around 9.30pm and he told me that he is packing his bag and food for an operational duty and will talk to me tomorrow,” Meenu said.

“Following the attack, a local reporter from Chhattisgarh called me and asked whether I wanted to say something to the Naxals and said that he would take our appeal to them. So, I told him that I wanted to request them (Naxals) to release my husband. He also asked me to send Rakeshwar’s photo to him on WhatsApp,” said the jawan’s wife.

“The CRPF Group Centre at Bantalab has not also told us anything about his whereabouts. All of us are very worried,” she said.

A part of CRPF’s special operation unit Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), Manhas was transferred to Chattisgarh three months ago.

He had joined the premier central police force in March 2011 and has a five-year-old daughter.

Manhas was previously posted in Assam.

Search ops on to trace him: CRPF

On Monday evening, senior CRPF officers from the headquarters in Jammu visited the family and met the jawan’s wife and mother. They assured that every possible effort was being made to trace Manhas.

CRPF’s Jammu sector spokesperson and deputy commandant Shivnandan Singh said, “We are getting reports from the media that he is probably with the Naxals. Search operations are on to trace him.”

As many as 22 jawans were killed and 31 sustained injuries in the encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh on Saturday. After the carnage, Naxals decamped with the weapons, bulletproof jackets, and even the shoes of dead soldiers, as per the reports.

Security forces have launched an operation along the Sukma-Bijapur border. (Agency)

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