Maoists stake up demands for the release of the abducted IAS officer

The euphoria of an expected release of the abducted officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the District Collector, of Malkangiri, R Vineel Krishna has died down with the underground groups putting up more conditions for the release of the prize catch.

In the meanwhile the Maoists released the abducted engineer, Pabitra Majhi, who too had been kidnapped along with the Collector. He spent seven nights in the company of Maoists deep inside Orissa jungle.

Majhi carried a letter from Maoists in which the ultra Left group wants the exchange of their five jailed ultra leaders in Malkangiri and that too in the presence of interlocutors.

Earlier the underground group had told the mediators that the Magistrate would be released on Wednesday but now in the letter that Manjhi carried the group wants the direct handover of their jailed comrades before the release of the abducted officer.
Among the top five Maoist leaders to be released are Ganti Prasad, who has been in custody since November and is facing sedition charges.
The Maoists also want the release of Padma, wife of a top leader of a Maoist leader. According to some news report the demand for the release of a top leader,like, Sriramalu Srinivasulu, has also been put forward. Sriramalu is currently lodged in an Andhra jail.

Meanwhile, the three member team of interlocutors headed by Professor G Haragopal, expressed his displeasure over the new demands put forward by the Maoists and urged them to release the Collector immediately.
“We feel at this stage these additional conditions would complicate the matter. As mediators, we are appealing to the Maoist party to release the district collector within 24 hours i.e by 6 o’clock. This is the word they have given to the government of Orissa and they should honour the word they have given”, says Professor G Haragopal.

The abduction of the District Magistrate has led to the stoppage of all the operations against the Maoists by the government.