Maoists place fresh demands before Jharkhand Government

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Ranchi, Feb 18 (ANI): Bolstered by Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren's soft stand on Maoists' and his acceptance of their demands, the rebels have now asked for Rs 10 lakh as compensation for the family of a killed Maoist.

On Wednesday night, Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren had accepted a key demand of the Maoists for the safe release of Dalbhumgarh Block Development Officer (BDO) Prasant Kumar Layek, and said the legal process to set free 14 rebels, who the Maoists claim to be innocent, has begun.

Addressing media in Ranchi, Soren said, "Maoists have set some conditions to set free Dalbhumgarh BDO Prasant Kumar Layek. Their chief demand is to release innocent villagers now lodged in Dalbhumgarh jail. All the cases are pending in the court. The legal process to release them has already begun."

"So, I appeal to them (Maoists) to set free our officer unharmed at the earliest," added Soren.

The fate of abducted BDO Layek hangs in balance, as the Maoists on Wednesday emanded a statement from Soren on their conditions to set free BDO Layek.

Maoists have said they would release Layek only if the Jharkhand Government gives written approval to all their demands, including the unconditional release of 14 of their men, who they say have been implicated in false charges. (ANI)

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