Orissa Collector's release still in the doldrums

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Orissa
Bhubaneshwar, Feb 23: The residents of Malkangiri anxiously await news of their District Collector, RV Krishna with baited breaths. The Collector was abducted while on official duty and was kidnapped by Maoists on last Wednesday. Today saw the release of junior engineer Pabitra Majhi, who was also abducted along with Krishna. But the Collector's whereabouts is still unknown.

In exile for the last seven days, the government was in frantic talks with the factionists to secure the release of the kidnapped government officials. The Maoists had set forth a set of demands in order to release the Collector and his aide. Majhi arrived in Malakangiri after his release from Janatai village by traveling through Chitrakonda.

The release happened soon after the mediator, Prof G Hargopal, had commented, "Both the Malkangiri Collector and the junior engineer will be freed and will be back within 48 hours.  However, the they have confirmed about the hostages safety as government sources claimed, the mediators have given us firm commitment on the safe return of the collector and junior engineer."

The Orissa government succumbed to most of the demand made by the Maoists. Sources in the Maoist community said that the hostages were released through the sarpanches and added that the mode of release of the hostages were tweaked without prior intimation and this led to the confusion.

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