Peace rallies in Orissa seeking release of abducted collector

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 18 (PTI) In a mass outpouring ofconcern for abducted Malkangiri district Collector R V Krishnaand an engineer, people from various sections of societytook out peace rallies in several places of Orissa for thesecond day today seeking their early release.

Besides Malkangiri, peace processions were held inKoraput, Nabarangpur, Gajapati, Kalahandi and Kandhamaldistricts with a large number of intellectuals, lawyers,teachers, school and college students taking part.

In the state capital, a signature campaign and candlelighting event was organised at Indian Red Cross Society''sOrissa state branch where participants made an appeal forrelease of the Collector and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi.

In Malkangiri, peace rallies were taken out at manyplaces, including block headquarter towns, by people from allsections, including women from self help groups and voluntaryorganisations for early release of the two, held hostage byMaoists since Wednesday evening.

A large number of tribals also took part in theprocessions hailing Krishna as a tribal-friendly officer.

Appealing to the red rebels not to cause any harm tothe abducted persons, they said violence offered no solutionto any problems.

Though no bandh call was given by anyone, life came toa halt in the tribal-dominated district as schools, colleges,offices, shops and business establishments remained closed forthe second day as a spontaneous response to the kidnappingincident.

Vehicular movement was also disrupted in Malkangiridistrict as people remained anxious about the fate of thecollector and junior engineer.

A bandh was also observed at Phulbani, the districtheadquarter town of Kandhamal in protest against the abductionof the two and demanding their early release.

Describing Krishna as a dedicated and sincere officerwho worked hard for the development of the backward districtand welfare of the poor and tribals, people organisedsignature campaigns for his safety.

Simialar peace rallies were also organised inneighbouring Koraput, Jeypore, Nabarangpur and Gajapatiseeking safe release of Krishna and Majhi.

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