Talks between mediators, Orissa govt begin

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 20 (PTI) The much-awaited talksbetween the Orissa government and mediators chosen by Maoistsbegan here today for the release of abducted Malkangiridistrict collector R V Krishna and an engineer.

The crucial meeting began amid tight security soonafter the arrival here of the two Hyderabad-basedinterlocutors, Prof Hargopal and Prof Someswar Rao.

Orissa Home Secretary U N Behera and Panchayati RajSecretary S N Tripathy represented the government in the talksfor the release of Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra MohanMajhi.

Krishna and Majhi were abducted by Maoists during avisit to remote Chitrakond area in Maoist stronghold ofMalkangiri district on Wednesday evening.

Rao said the mediators were going for the talks with apositive approach and "We will certainly like to resolve thehostage crisis."

"We have brought some proposals from Maoist leaderswhich will be placed before Orissa government during ourtalks," the mediators told reporters while proceeding for thenegotiations after their arrival at Biju Patnaik airport here.

There was no pressure from the Maoists, they saidadding "First we have to know what the state government hasto say on the issue before holding detailed talks," they said.

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