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Maoists release two abducted Orissa police officers

Written by: Staff

Bhubaneswar, Apr 4 (UNI) Maoist insurgents today released R Udayagiri Sub-jail Superintendent Rabi Narayan Sethy and R Udayagiri Policestation officer-in-charge Ranjan Mallick at an undisclosed location, after keeping them hostage for twelve days in the deep forests close to the Andhra Pradesh-Orissa border.

The officials were handed over to two reporters by the villagers who brought them to R Udayagiri in their vehicle.

Nearly 400 armed Maoists had raided the small town of R Udayagiri in Naxalite-dominated Gajapati district of Orissa on March 24 and kidnapped the two officials at gun point after attacking the police station, Orissa State Armed Police (OSAP) barrack, treasury office and other government offices.

Three jawans were killed and five others had been injured in the exchange of fire between the security forces and the Maoists who ransacked the police station and looted arms and ammunition from the OSAP barrack.

Though the police launched extensive combing operations after the incident, the whereabouts of the two abducted police officers could not be ascertained till April 2 when a TV news channel showed them safe inside the dense forest surrounded by the armed Maoists.

Two reporters of the channel had accompanied the Naxalites to an undisclosed location inside the deep jungle close to the Andhra Pradesh border.

The two officials had told the reporters that the state government must find out ways for their safe release from the Naxalites.

Mr Sethy and Mr Mallick, however, had told the channel that the Naxalites had been ''taking good care'' of them.

On March 30, a letter bearing the signatures of the twoabducted officials was sent to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Director General of Police Suchit Das urging for help for their release and for fulfilling the demands of the Maoists. The letter cited the demands of the Maoists which included, among others, a ban on handing over the state's natural resources to foreign companies, a stop to suppression of the people's movement and displacement in the name of setting up of big industries, withdrawal of all ''false'' cases lodged against the tribal activists and Maoists and for treating the Maoist prisoners languishing in various jails in the state as political prisoners.

Mr Mallick's parents also met the Orissa Chief Minister and urged him to take steps for the early release of their son while Mr Sethy's had appealed to the Naxalites to release her husband.

On April 2 Abhimanyu Sethy, the younger brother of the abducted Jail Superintendent had met the Chief Minister and appealed to the government to take steps for the release of his brother from the Maoists.


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