Maoists arm-twisting again; collector not yet free

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Malkangiri, Feb 24: The wait is still on and the residents of the quaint little village of Malkangiri is still anxiously awaiting news of their District Collector R Vineel Krishna. After numerous flip-flops from the Maoists who had put forth a set of demands to release the abducted Collector, the release of the official still hangs in the balance.

Yesterday (Feb 23), the junior engineer Pabitra Majhi who was also abducted along with the Collector was released. After most of the demands of the Maoists have been agreed to by the government, the latest set of demands have added confusion and the release of the abducted official seemingly looking bleak.

The District Collector and Junior Engineer was abducted while on official duty last Wednesday. The Maoists have been communicating their demands through interlocutors. The new demand involves the release of Maoist leader Sriramulu. Another top leader, Gantiprasadam who had been granted bail as part of the deal refused to accept it until four other leaders and tribals be released along with him.

The interlocutors have confirmed that they will not leave Bhubhaneswar until Krishna is released.

Professor Hargopal, one of the interlocutors said, "At this stage additional conditions imposed by Maoists will only complicate the matters. They should keep their word and the assurance they gave to government during talks. We have appealed to the Maoists to release the collector by 6 pm on Thursday."

OneIndia News

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