Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Maoists set to release Malkangiri district collector

Bhubaneswar, February 23, 2011

The week-long hostage crisis in Orissa could be finally over. One of the mediators for the Maoists, Dandapani Mohanty, has said Malkangiri collector R.V. Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi will be back home within 48 hours. Mohanty\'s clarification came amid earlier reports that the two had been released late on Tuesday night.

Although officials said that they had no confirmation on when the two officials would return home, celebrations broke out in Malkangiri. Hundreds of people flocked to the collector\'s house.

The Maoists agreed to free Krishna and Mohanty after the state government conceded to all their 14 demands.

Maoist leader Ganti Prasadam, who was brought to Bhubanewar from Koraput, was consulted by the mediators in a local jail on Tuesday. It was agreed that cases against five Maoists, including Prasadam and Padma, wife of top Naxal Ramakrishna, will be withdrawn.

On Tuesday, a fast track court in Malkangiri granted bail to 12 Maoists including hardcore rebel leader Srinivas Sriramulu.

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