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इंडियन आवाज़     21 May 2024 09:39:54      انڈین آواز

Suspense continues over DM fate as Maoists put fresh demands

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The Maoists have put some additional conditions for the release of DM.

They want top Maoist leaders Sriramulu Srinivas, Padma, Rosy Mandangi, Iswari and Gokul Kuldipia currently in jail under serious charges to be released from jail immediately. One of the mediators, Prof G Haragopal, told AIR that the Maoists want to release the Malkangiri collector before public and in the presence of mediators and social activist Swami Agnivesh if their demands are met. He said, it will not be possible to include fresh conditions as an agreement has already been arrived at between the two sides.

Maoists supporter and revolutionary writer Bara Bara Rao also appealed to the Maoists to release Malkangiri Collector immediately.

Odisha Home Secretary UN Behera reiterated that Krishna would be released soon as promised by the Maoists chosen mediators. A letter in Telugu by the Maoists putting up fresh conditions is said to have sent through the junior engineer Pabitra Majhi.

After being released, the abducted junior engineer told media persons at Malkangiri that the collector is safe and healthy. Both of them were put up together and the Maoists have assured him that the collector would be released within 48 hours. He, however, was unable to say where the Maists kept both.

Majhi was taken by local villagers on a motor-cycle to Chitrakonda after being released by the Maoists in a remote forest in Malkangiri. Huge crowds gathered at the Chitrakonda Tehsil office and also at Malkangiri to have a glimpse of the freed engineer.

Earlier Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao claimed that abducted district collector and a junior engineer would return to home by Thursday.

“The process has already started and Malkangiri Collector R V Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi will return by tomorrow,” interlocutor Prof G Hargopal said, refusing to elaborate further on Wednesday.

Hargopal, who had last evening stated that the duo would be back within 48 hours, said Krishna and Majhi were safe.

Varavara Rao, who had claimed that the hostages were handed over to four sarpanches on Tuesday night, expressed regret for having given the information as some modifications were made in the process of freeing the duo.

“I would like to tender my apologies for having stated yesterday that they had been released,” the Naxal ideologue said on Wednesday.

“However, the process for their return is underway and both will be back shortly,” he said.

There was no official confirmation on the release of the Malkangiri collector and junior engineer and senior officials were tight-lipped over the matter even as the demands made by the Maoists had been met.

30-year-old Krishna, a 2005 batch IAS officer, and Majhi had been abducted by Maoists from Chitrakonda area of Malkangiri district on 16th February.

Hopes of an early release of the kidnapped duo brightened on Tuesday evening following three days of intense negotiations between Maoist-appointed mediators and the Orissa government representatives following which the remaining six of the 14 demands were conceded.

In a related development, the Odisha High Court on Wednesday granted bail to top Maoist leader Ganti Prasadam. The government did not oppose the bail of Ganti Prasadam who was booked under charges like sedition and waging war against government. Prasadam, now lodged in Jharpada special jail at Bhubaneswar after being brought from Koraput, is believed to have played a key role in giving shape to the negotiation between the interlocutors and the state government.

Meanwhile, mediator Prof Haragopal, revolutionary poet Varavara Rao and top Maoist leader Ganti Prasadam have appealed the Maoists to release the Malkangiri collector by 6 tomorrow evening. They have said the Odisha Government understands its responsibilites and will abide by the 14 agreements agreed upon with the mediators during the 3-day talks. They also said, the additional conditions put by Maoists to free some top maoists leaders immediately will not be feasible.

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