Raipur, Jan 3: Three youths from Pune, who were allegedly abducted by Naxals while they were on a bicycle rally to spread the message of peace, have been released by the rebels in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district, police said.
"The youths have been released and they safely reached Chintalnar camp of police," Inspector General of Police, Bastar Range, S R P Kalluri, said.
The three youths - identified as Aadarsh Patil, Vilas Valake and Shrikirhna Shevale - were abducted from Basaguda area of the neighbouring Bijapur district and kept at Timmapuram village forests near Chinger in Jagargunda police station limits under the custody of Maoist commander Papa Rao, Kalluri said.
Soon after getting news of the abduction, police had suspended all anti-Naxal operations in south Bastar, he said.
Later, the police were able to locate the whereabouts of the three youths following which talks were held with the abductors through various means to secure their safe release, he said The IG, however, did not reveal details about the negotiations with the abductors.
The youths had on December 20 launched a cycle rally from Pune under their "Bharat Jodo" (Link India) campaign to propagate the message of peace in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, the states worst affected by Naxalism over past three decades, he said.
They were passing through several places of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh when they were allegedly abducted by the ultras in Bijapur a few days back. The three youths were going to conclude their rally at Balamela in Odisha on January 10, he said.