It's celebration time in Malkangiri

Free at last: Malkangiri Collector R Vineel Krishna having food at a village after he was released by Maoists at Janbhaighat near Chitrakonda in Orissa on Thursday after nine days of captivity. PTI

Residents thronged the streets and set off fire crackers. Hundreds of people rushed to Krishna’s official residence and danced in front of the gates.

Krishna’s father Rambabu was also seen rushing out of the bungalow and distributing sweets among the celebrating people. “I thank one and all for my son’s release. I feel extremely happy and relieved now”, he told waiting local journalists.

The three who negotiated with the Orissa government and the Maoists for the release of the two abducted officials had announced on Tuesday that Krishna and Majhi will be set free within 48 hours. Krishna was released just before the deadline. Minutes after his release, Krishna told reporters that he had no complaints against his kidnappers who had treated him very nicely. “I have no complaints against them, they had taken care of me pretty well”, he said adding that he had no health problem during his captivity.

He thanked the people of the entire state for supporting and standing behind him. “I cannot forget in my entire life the support and solidarity shown by the people. I am thankful to everybody”, he said.

When the vehicle carrying the Collector reached his residence in Malkangiri town nearly five hours after his release, it was immediately mobbed by thousands of people gathered there. Later flanked by his parents and wife, Krishna addressed newsmen where he narrated how he and the junior engineer were kidnapped by the Maoists. He once again thanked the people and the government as well as the three negotiators for supporting him during the crisis.

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