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Orissa collector released by Maoists

Thursday February 24, 2011 08:57:07 PM, IANS

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Bhubaneswar: Maoist rebels Thursday released Malkangiri District Collector R. Vineel Krishna in Orissa after keeping him in captivity for eight days, officials said.

"He is released. We talked to him. He has left Chitrakonda for Malkangiri," state Panchayati Raj Secretary S.N. Tripathy, who was one of the officials involved in the negotiations, told IANS.

The rebels handed over Krishna to some select media persons near a village in Chitrakonda area from where he and a junior engineer were abducted Feb 16, a source said. The junior engineer was released Wednesday.

After his release, the collector told a local television channel over phone that he is thankful to the people for extending their solidarity.

"I am thankful to all of you. I am thankful the way you extended support."

As soon as the news of Krishna's release reached the district headquarters town of Malkangiri, 618 kms from here, people and relatives distributed sweets among those gathered near his official residence.

The development came as a big relief for the state authorities who were baffled after the rebels put forward a fresh set of demands Wednesday for the release.

Agreeing to one of their demands, the Orissa government Thurdsay rushed two mediators to the region for further negotiations with the Maoists. G. Haragopal and Dandapani Mohanty were flown in a state helicopter to Koraput.







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