Malkangiri Collector abduction: Orissa agrees to 8 of 14 Maoist demands

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 22 (ANI): After the second day of negotiations between the Maoists and the mediators, the Orissa Government has conceded to eight of the 14 demands of the Maoists.

However, their main demand - the release of eight Maoists - is yet to be resolved.

"There have been altogether 14 demands we have discussed in the last two days. Out of that we have been able to resolve eight demands, on the basis of specific government decisions, some in the past and some now," said Orissa Home Secretary U N Behera.

We hope to resolve the six other demands in by Tuesday. We are also confident now that both of them - Collector Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Majhi will be released very soon," Behera added.

The eight points of agreement are: Orissa government will write to Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to take action on the extremists demand for release of Maoist central committee members Sheela di (jailed in Jharkhand) and Padma (in Chhattisgarh) owing to their ill-health, ST status for the Konda Reddy and Nukadora communities categorized as OBCs, stopping the multi-purpose Polavaram project of Andhra Pradesh, 'Pattas' (record of rights) to tribals dispossessed of their land in Malkangiri and Koraput.

Irrigation in Maribada and Maniamkonda villages in Malkangiri, compensation based on High Court order to Tadangi Gangulu and Ratanu Sirika who died of disease allegedly due to torture, Relevant laws for mining operations in Mali and Deomali bauxite mines and minimum displacement of tribals and adequate compensation.

Earlier, mediators Professors Hargopal and R Someswar Rao have said that more time was needed to secure the release of Krishna and Majhi.

"We are working out modalities on how to end the hostage crisis and facilitate the release of Krishna and Majhi..... It may take more time," Hargopal told reporters.

"We are not under any pressure; we are the mediators of both the government and the Maoists. We will see both the sides and then we will see how the problem can be resolved," said Rao.

The ultras extended the deadline on Friday night following an appeal from the state government even as they exploded a landmine on a key road snapping links between Malkangiri district and rest of Orissa.

Krishna, who was on his way back after attending a health camp in Chitrakonda, has been missing since Thursday evening.

The Maoists had earlier sent a note through a junior engineer accompanying Krishna demanding immediate halt to Operation Green Hunt and release of jailed Maoists. (ANI)

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