CM appeals to Maoists to extend deadline

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 18 (PTI) Orissa Chief Minister NaveenPatnaik today appealed to the Maoists to extend the deadlineset by them for fulfilment of their demands for release ofabducted Malkangiri District Collector R V Krishna and juniorengineer Pabitra Majhi.

"My appeal to the concerned persons is to extend thedeadline of this evening and not to cause any harm to the twohostages," Patnaik told reporters here.

The chief minister said the government was in theprocess of trying to establish contact with some persons todiscuss and negotiate for the release of Krishna and Majhi.

The government has conceded one of the demands made bythe kidnappers by halting combing operations across the statefor release of the two, who were abducted on Wednesday eveningfrom Chitrakonda area of Malkangiri.

The Maoists, who had set a 48-hour deadline, alsodemanded release of all tribals who had been lodged in jailson charges of being ultras.

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