Thursday, February 24, 2011

Maoists make fresh demand for collector\'s release

2011-02-24, Bhubaneswar:

Maoists today made a fresh demand for quick release of five key Naxals to publicly free Malkangiri District Collector R V Krishna and involvement of rights activist Swami Agnivesh in the process, prompting the mediators to appeal for his freedom by tomorrow.

While Naxal leader Ganti Prasadam was today granted bail by the Orissa High Court, Maoists demanded that five others including Sriramulu Srinivasulu and Padma, wife of a top rebel, be also freed from jail, official sources said.

The condition laid by the abductors was conveyed to Malkangiri district administration in a letter sent through the released junior engineer Pabitra Majhi, who had been abducted along with the collector on February 16, they said.

The abductors also expressed their intention to free the collector in public in the presence of three Maoist-chosen mediators who held talks with Orissa government, Swami Agnivesh and project director of District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Malkangiri after the release of top naxals named by them, sources said.

Expressing shock over the new demand, Ganti Prasadam, mediator G Hargopal and Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao made a joint appeal to the ultras to release the district collector within 24 hours, by tomorrow evening.

Hargopal said Orissa government has agreed to release Srinivasalu, who has already got bail in a case, but he has to be sent to Andhra Pradesh as there are cases against him in that state and the issue is beyond Orissa government purview.

Regarding Ganti Prasadam, Padma and others, Orissa government has agreed to withdraw cases against them, he said.

On Agnivesh, the mediator said it would not be possible to involve him at this stage.

About release of tribals of Malkangiri and Koraput districts, the matter would be taken up within 15 days \"and we will pursue it,\" Hargopal said.

\"We are happy that the junior engineer has been released but any additional condition will complicate the issue as yesterday we had already made commitment of release of both the hostages in 48 hours,\" Hargopal said.

\"We had given assurance to Orissa government after consulting Ganti Prasadam, Varavara Rao and Srinivasulu,\" he said

\"We as mediators are surprised. We did not expect additional demand will come up. We appeal to them (abductors) to free the collector in 24 hours, that is 6 pm tomorrow evening,\" Hargopal said.

He said their appeal was being aired in English and Telugu as Maoists listen to radio regularly.

\"This appeal may have to be taken by the party very seriously because we have promised Orissa government and you (Naxals) had earlier said that nobody need to come to the spot,\" Hargopal said.

News From:

No comments:

eXTReMe Tracker