Collector abduction: Maoists extend deadline

 
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Bhubaneswar, Feb 18 (PTI) Responding to the appealof Orissa government and others, suspected Maoist abductorsof Malkangiri district collector R V Krishna today extendedthe deadline fixed by them for fulfilment of their demands.

A senior member of Andhra-Orissa Border ZonalCommittee (AOBZC) of Maoists informed a section of media hereabout their decision of extending the deadline.

"Secretary of AOBZC Bhaskar has suggested to PLGA(People''s Liberation Guerrilla Army) to extend the deadline asthe state government has agreed to have talks on the just anddemocratic demands of the party," Maoist ideologue V V Raotold PTI over phone.

"I cannot say for how long, but I am sure that theyhave extended the deadline," he said, adding that everythingwould now depend on the outcome of the negotiations.

"Though we have not received any formal communicationfrom the abductors, mediators informed the state governmentthat since the process of negotiation with Maoists has startedthe deadline set by them is deemed to have been extended,"Home Secretary U N Behera told PTI.

Hopeful of release of Krishna and junior engineerPabitra Majhi, a senior official said the mediators werelikely to arrive here tomorrow to hold talks with the stategovernment.

Apart from the state government, two mediators, V VRao, Swami Agnivesh, family members of the abducted IASofficer and junior engineer and many other civil societiesbesides the people from different walks of life had appealedto the Maoists to extend the deadline.

Krishna and Majhi were abducted from Malkangiridistrict on Wednesday evening by Maoists who then set a48-hour deadline for fulfilment of their demands of haltingthe combing operations and release of tribal rebels lodgedcurrently in jail.

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