Collector’s kidnap: Orissa govt. contacts mediators

The Hindu, Malkangiri/Bhubaneswar, February 18, 2011

Asking Maoists to extend their two-day deadline, Orissa government on Friday said it has established contact with two mediators handpicked by the Naxals to negotiate the release of abducted Malkangiri District Collector R V Krishna and a junior engineer.

“They (Maoists) had given three names for negotiation.

We have established contact with Prof Someswar Rao and Prof Hargopal (both from Andhra Pradesh). They are willing to mediate in the matter,” Chief Secretary B K Patnaik told reporters in Bhubaneswar after a marathon meeting at the Chief Minister’s office here.

The two mediators have accepted the State government’s request to issue an appeal for extension of two-day deadline given by Naxals who kidnapped Mr. Krishna, a 30-year-old IAS officer, and the junior engineer Mr. Pabitra Majhi on Wednesday, the Chief Secretary said.

He said the State government has also contacted social activist Swami Agnivesh, who indicated that the Naxals were considering extending the time-frame of two days to meet their seven-point demands including halt to anti-Naxal joint operations, which has already been conceded, withdrawal of BSF, release of 700 tribal Naxals and scrapping of Polavaram water-sharing project with Andhra Pradesh. (మరింత…)