Ganti Prasadam keen to be part of negotiation with Orissa

Bhubaneswar, Feb 21 (PTI) Prominent Maoist leader GantiPrasadam today expressed keeness to become part of thenegotiations with Orissa government to secure the release ofMalkangiri Collector R V Krishna and a junior engineerabducted by Naxalites.

Ganti Prasadam, who was arrested by Orissa police andlodged in a jail on sedition charge, told his lawyer NiharRanjan Patnaik that he was interested in talks with thegovernment for the release of the two hostages.

Prasadam said this when Patnaik met him at Koraput jailthis morning to discuss about their move to file bailpetitions in the Orissa High Court.

"I will like to be part of the talks with the Orissagovernment," Patnaik told PTI over phone quoting Prasadam.

He said Prasadam was not interested in his bail he(Ganti) pleaded for other Maoist leaders and tribals who hadbeen lodged at different jails of Orissa.

Ganti Prasadam (55), a close aide of Maoist leaderRamakrishna and heads the "Martyrs'' Friends and RelativesCommittee", also claimed his participation in the negotiationswas important from the Maoist point of view.

Earlier, Prof G Hargopal had suggested to the stategovernment that Ganti Prasadam''s release from jail would helpin ensuring safe release of the Malkangiri collector andjunior engineer Pabitra Majhi.

Prof Hargopal has also said he was expecting that "somerepresentatives of the Maoist party" would join the talks.

Though Prasadam was more than willing to be part of thenegotiations with the state government, his bail petition wasrejected by the sub-divisional judicial magistrate''s court atKoraput yesterday. Meanwhile, his lawyer had moved the HighCourt seeking bail which was likely to be heard on Wednesday.

After realising that Ganti Prasadam''s release could behelpful to end the six-day long hostage crisis, the stategovernment had decided not to oppose his bail when it comes upfor hearing at the higher court, sources said.

"It may be a reason as to why Ganti and others moved theHigh Court instead of filing bail petitions in district courtin Koraput," said a senior lawyer.

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