Orissa collector released; Malkangiri fetes

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R Vineel Krishna
Malkangiri, Feb 24: After 9 days, finally, Orissa hostage drama has come to its end as Maoists released the captive. Amid several speculations and anticipations, the rebels freed the Malkangiri collector R Vineel Krishna on Thursday, Feb 24. Krishna's release has become a reality when government agreed with most of the demands made by the Maoists.

Sources reported that Krishna was handed over to the local media in Doli Amba village near Malkangiri. One of the Maoists picked mediators stated, "We have got this confirmation that he has been released. He was handed over to the villagers. If Orissa government wants him in Bhubaneshwar we will take him there tomorrow (Friday)."

"They (Naxals) wanted the release of tribals and release of some leaders. The tribals have been released and the bail petition of their leaders is coming in the court tomorrow. There are no serious charges so they are likely to be released," added the interlocutors.

Earlier on the day, Krishna's release seemed to be dragged for a long time as the ultras had come up with a new set of demands. They set fresh conditions and hoped to browbeat the government into giving in.

Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi were abducted while on official duty on Feb 16. The Maoists have been communicating their demands through three interlocutors.

Though Majhi was released by the Maoists on Wednesday, Collector's life was uncertain over the numerous flip-flops from the Maoists. Rebels' some demands, which has been granted by the Orissa government, 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.

Malkangiri village once again started celebration after the latest news of the collector. Thousands of people have gathered before the official residence of the collector.

OneIndia News

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