Naveen Patnaik urges Maoists to release abducted collector

Bhubaneswar, Feb 17 (ANI): Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged Maoists to release abducted Malkangiri district collector R Vineel Krishna.

"I appeal for early release of the young and energetic officer who is known for his hard work among the poor and tribals," Patnaik told reporters.

The government is evaluating all options and monitoring the situation closely, Patnaik said, adding efforts were on to secure early release of the officer.

He said that the letter sent by the collector's abductors had the handwriting of Krishna.

"The ultras are demanding a halt to anti-Maoist operations and release of all those lodged in jails," he added.

Earlier, condemning the abduction, Union Home Secretary G K Pillai said: "He (Krishna) was abducted by the Maoists and they sent the engineer back with a chit asking for... their so called demands.

"The state government and other officers are working on this," he added.

He further said: "I am sure that the local support that he has and the state government will be able to negotiate and get his release".

Krishna, who was on his way back after attending a health camp in Chitrakonda, has been missing since last evening.

The Maoists have sent a note through a junior engineer accompanying Krishna demanding immediate halt to Operation Green Hunt and release of jailed Maoists.

Additional reinforcements of policemen have been sent to the area to trace the Collector. A red alert has been sounded in the area bordering Andhra Pradesh.

This is the first time, Maoists have abducted a IAS officer in Odisha. (ANI)

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