Maoists free collector

Maoists free collector

Quoting Naxal ideologue Varavara Rao, PTI said the Maoists handed over Krishna and Pabitra Majhi to “four sarpanchs” in the Govindpur area in Chitrakunda forests, about 150 km from Malkangiri.

However, there was no official confirmation that the two were released. The officials were abducted by the Maoists from Chitrakunda area of the district on February 16. Celebrations broke out outside the collector’s residence as the news of the release of the officer trickled in.

The family members of the officials thanked the people and the government.
“I can see my son again only because of the support of the people as well as the government,” said Majhi’s mother Parbati.

The decision to release the two officials was reached after the Orissa government accepted all the demands made by the Maoists. The demands included withdrawal of cases against some of the top arrested Naxal cadres which will pave the way for their release from the prisons.

The Orissa government has also agreed to stop anti-Naxal operations in the state till the Maoists indulge in any “unlawful activities.”

Prof Haragopal said the Orissa government had already closed a large number of cases against the arrested tribals currently lodged in different jails in the state.

“The move has made us to believe that the rest of the cases pending against the arrested tribals will receive their due attention from the state government,” he said. 

Releasing of the tribals arrested for their alleged naxal activities was among the demands of the Maoists.

Negotiation process

State Home Secretary U N Behera, who was heading the two-member official team in the negotiation process, was present at the press conference.

He hoped that the two officials will be released very soon as all the issues relating to their abduction had been resolved.

“We have received a firm commitment from the mediators on the safe return of both officials,” Behera said.

Elaborating on some of the important Maoists’ demands accepted by the state government, the home secretary said steps would be taken to withdraw an important case pending against some of the top Maoists like Ganty Prasadam, Padma, Iswari and Sarita, all central committee members of the CPI(Maoists).

It is believed that it will not be difficult for these top Maoists to get their freedom back once this case filed in Similiguda police station in Koraput district is withdrawn.

He said  the government would also examine the cases pending against other top arrested Maoists like Srinivas Sriramulu and Asutosh currently lodged in Malkangiri and Sundergarh prisons respectively.

Earlier, on Tuesday, the state capital witnessed hectic activities with the three mediators holding a series of meetings with the government official team.

They also had two rounds of discussions with the top arrested Maoists leader, Ganty Prasadam, in the Jharpada prison here.

Prasadam was brought to the Bhubaneswar prison from Koraput late on Monday night amid tight security.

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