Maoists snap road links despite suspension of operation

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Malkangiri (Orissa), Feb 18 (PTI) A day after OrissaGovernment halted anti-Maoist operations to facilitate earlyrelease of abducted Malkangiri Collector, R V Krishna and anengineer, the rebels snapped the main road link with thedistrict by felling trees on vast stretches today.

The main road connecting the Maoist-hit Malkangiridistrict with other parts of Orissa was blocked by felling alarge number of trees in mountainous and forested GobindpalliGhati area, police said.

Besides felling trees, the ultras put boulders and dugup the road linking Malkangiri and Jeypore in Koraput, alifeline connecting the tribal dominated district with therest of Orissa.

The Maoist action came even after the Orissa Governmentconceded one of their two demands by stopping combingoperations across the state to secure safe release of Krishnaand junior engineer Pabitra Majhi, who were abducted by theultras on Wednesday evening.

With the two-day deadline set by the Maoists formeeting their demands - halt to anti-Maoist operations andrelease of tribal compatriots - fast approaching, the stategovernment is now waiting for a response from the rebels.

30-year-old Krishna, a 2005 batch IAS officer, andMajhi were kidnapped by a some 50 Maoists during a visit toremote Chitrakonda area, a Maoist stronghold about 85 km fromhere, to attend a camp for local development, police said.

As authorities launched ''back channel'' efforts tosecure the release of the captives, the state government hasalready contacted Maoist sympathiser Varavara Rao and socialactivist Swami Agnivesh for help. .

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