Orissa: Maoists keep promises; hostages freed

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 23: After a weeklong of tensions and negotiations, the Maoists have finally released the two hostages - Malkangiri district collector R Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Mohan Majhi - late on Tuesday night (Feb 22). After the Orissa government conceded to all the fourteen demands of the Ultras, the rebels kept their promise and freed the captives.

Government sources, on conditions of anonymity, confirmed that, "The Maoists have set the district collector and junior engineer free. They would be released from different spots."

The Orissa government spokesperson assured that the two hostages will reach their houses safely and stated that, "We agreed on all 14 issues. Now that all the issues have been resolved, the mediators have given us firm commitment on the safe return of the collector and junior engineer."

A fast track court on Tuesday granted bail to Sriramulu Srinivasulu in a criminal conspiracy case as it was demanded by the Maoists. Other Naxals leaders, Ganti Prasadam and three others would be taken to the Orissa High Court on Feb 23 for the hearing of their bail plea.

The mediators between the Maoists and the government, said, "All cases against Maoists will be reviewed by the state government. We express our appreciation for Maoists concern for tribal."

However, the tribal men were not happy as claimed by the Maoists. The y said, "Nobody comes to this village (Jantapai), not even policemen. The zila pal (district Collector Krishna) did a lot of good things. We felt they (Maoists) had abducted one among us."

Sources reported that the tribal representatives had also approached the Maoists and requested them to release the hostages. Their demands were, however, rejected by the rebels.

Now, after the announcement that the two hostages have been freed by the Ultras, people in Malkangiri and the tribal areas have started celebrating. The people are now eagerly waiting the return of their District Collector and the junior engineer, who are yet to reach their houses.

OneIndia News

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