Malkangiri (Orissa), Feb 24 (PTI) Celebrations beganhere tonight following the release of Malkangiri DistrictCollector R V Krishna by Maoists as his family members thankedthe Naxal-chosen mediators, the people as well as the rebelsfor ending the nine-day hostage crisis.
Distributing sweets and bursting crackers, the familymembers of the 30-year-old IIT graduate-turned-IAS officerwere overwhelmed with joy as Krishna returned safely afterspending nine days in the captivity of Maoists.
"We are thankful to the mediators for the all-outefforts they made to ensure the release of Krishna...therelease was possible by the deadline," said a relieved RRambabu, father of the 2005 batch IAS officer.
Rambabu, who had arrived here following Krishna''sabduction, thanked the people of Orissa and the stategovernment for the support they extended ever since thecollector and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi were kidnapped onFebruary 16.
"I am also thankful to the Maoists for showing thehumane side. I am told they also treated him (Krishna) well,"he said adding "I understand Krishna is in good health thoughhe seems to be a little fatigued."As the family members, including Krishna''s wife, werebeaming, thousands of locals gathered outside the collector''sresidence to have a glimpse of the released officer.
A big crowd, which included a large number of tribals,women and children, raised slogans with many of them dancingto drum beats as Krishna reached his residence.
"I am happy to see the collector who is back safelyafter nine days in the captivity of Naxals," said an oldtribal as his son set off crackers.
Krishna is popular among tribals and has beenworking with dedication for the welfare of the poor and thedowntrodden, said Ratnakar, a young writer.
"I have been waiting for hours to have a glimpse ofthe collector. Now I am glad to see him," said a young collegestudent.
Life in tribal-dominated Malkangiri district came to agrinding halt after Krishna''s abduction with spontaneousshutting down of shops, business establishments, offices andschools and colleges.
People from all sections of society had taken outrallies across the district seeking his safe release. PTI SKNSUS