Collector, engineer safe: Naveen

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 21 (PTI) Maintaining that abductedMalkangiri district Collector and the junior engineer weresafe, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said Maoistshave agreed not to harm the hostages when the talks are on.

This was conveyed during the ongoing negotiationsbetween mediators and state government officials for saferelease of Malkangiri Collector R V Krishna and juniorengineer Pabitra Majhi, Patnaik said in a statement at thestate Assembly here.

"The mediators assured the officials that no harm will becaused to the hostage duo, when talks are on," he said.

Stating that detailed discussion was being held in acongenial manner, Patnaik said it was agreed that there wouldnot be any combing operation till the negotiations are over.

At the same time, the Maoists would not indulge in anyuntoward incident, disturbance or road blockade that couldhamper the peace process as long as talks are on, the chiefminister said.

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