8 demands granted; Will Maoists release hostages?

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 22: After discussions with Maoists suggested interlocutors, the Orissa government agreed to eight of 14 demands made by the Ultras. However, the main demand, which is the release of eight Maoists leaders, is yet to granted. The final judgment will be delivered today (Tuesday, Feb 22).

According to sources, hardcore Naxal leader, Ganti Prasadam, has been transferred to the Bhubaneswar Jail where he has met with the interlocutors Prof G Hargopal and Dandapani Mohanty. Security has been beefed up around the jail.

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

Malkangiri Collector R Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi were abducted on Feb 16, though government sources confirmed that the duo are safe.

The eight granted demands of the Maoists are:

  • The Orissa government will write to Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to meet the extremists demand of 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, who have been dispossessed of their land in Malkangiri and Koraput.
  • Irrigation in Maribada and Maniamkonda villages in Malkangiri.
  • Compensation based on HC order to Tadangi Gangulu and Ratanu Sirika, who died of a disease that was caused allegedly due to torture.
  • Relevant laws for mining operations in Mali and Deomali bauxite mines.
  • Minimum displacement of tribal and adequate compensation.

Meanwhile, five jailed Maoists leaders moved the court on Monday demanding that they be granted bail. Their bail plea hearing will be held today.

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