Released by Maoists after three days in captivity, police officer Atindranath Dutta hopes the West Bengal government would take steps to trace two police personnel, who were abducted by the ultras on July 30 and are still missing.
An exhausted Dutta, who arrived at his residence in Kolkata at 0230 hrs in the metropolis after his release on Thursday night by Maoist leader Kishenji in Lalgarh area in West Mindapore district, said, "I hope the government will take earnest steps to secure release of two other policemen." Sub-inspector Kanchan Garai and constable Sabir Ali, who were posted at the Dharampur police outpost in West Midnapore district had gone to buy spare parts for the generators supplying power to police camps when they were kidnapped by the left wing ultras.
Asked if he had spoken to Kishenji about the release of Garai and Ali, Dutta said he had not. Dutta, who was handed over to journalists by Left-wing ultras after women arrested by security forces in anti-Maoist operations in West Midnapore district were released on bail, said he had gathered from talks with Maoists that they wanted the government to take up welfare measures for the rural poor who were "deprived and exploited".
Asked whether the government should open dialogue with Maoists, Dutta said, "Everything is possible through dialogue. My personal view is that the government should hold talks, but what the government does is upto it." Kishenji had explained to him, he said, about his outfit's view on the "deprivation and exploitation of tribals".
Dutta said he was happy with the role played by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in his release and said the state administration had taken steps after giving much thought. "My family and I are grateful to them." The Maoists had given him food and had not ill-treated him, he said. On whether he would continue to serve in the police force, he said he had not thought about it yet. "It is not that I am quitting the police right now. There are some allied jobs in the police. Whether I remain in the mainstream police or take up an allied job I will decide after discussing with my family," he said.
Asked how he felt after returning home, Dutta flanked by his mother, father, wife and daughter said, "My worry for my family is gone now. I am feeling relieved. I hope such a thing will not happen again." After his release, Dutta had reported to Jhargram police station and also went for a medical check-up late in the night before finally heading for his residence in Kolkata. The motorcycle-borne Maoists had looted over Rs 9 lakh from a State Bank of India branch situated near the police station, before killing two other officers and taking Dutta, officer-in-charge of the police station as hostage on Tuesday.