Bhubaneswar, Feb 19 (PTI) Ahead of the meeting with themediators, the Orissa Government today examined chargesagainst certain key Maoists whose release would facilitate thesafe return of abducted Malkangiri Collector and a juniorengineer, officials said.
The state government''s move came after it received a listof names of Maoists lodged in different jails of Orissa onsedition charges.
During preliminary telephonic talks, Prof Hargopal, oneof the two interlocutors, had suggested to the state homesecretary that it would be easy to negotiate with theabductors if some key persons like Ganti Prasad were released.This apart, the Maoists, through the districtadministration of Malkangiri had given certain names for theirrelease, claiming that they had no direct involvement with anycriminal activities in Orissa.
Sriramlu Srinivasulu, former chief of RevolutionaryWriters Association in Andhra Pradesh and senior memberof the CPI(Maoist), was another person whose release wasdemanded.
Besides Strinivasulu, Maoists had also demanded therelease of Padma, wife of a senior Maoist leader.
While considering the demands made by Maoists throughletters and mediators, the state government today held a highlevel meeting attended by Chief Secretary, B K Patnaik, HomeSecretary U N Behera and anti-Maoist operation officers.
Asked whether the government has agreed to release somerebels, Chief secretary B K Patnaik said, "The stategovernment has not taken any decision regarding the release ofany Maoists as per demands. The issue may come up only duringformal negotiations."
However, he did not rule out the possibility of releaseof any Maoist leader to facilitate safe release of the twomen.
"It is premature to say that the government has agreedto release any one now. Let us wait for the discussion," thechief secretary said.
The abduction of Collector R V Krishna and juniorengineer Pabitra Majhi from remote Chitrakonda area, a Maoiststronghold in Malkangiri district bordering Andhra Pradesh,has drawn widespread condemnation with people from all walksof life staging peace rallies in different parts of the stateseeking their early and safe release.