Fresh twist to abduction drama; poll staff say kidnap report true

Malkangiri: In a new turn to the abduction episode, two poll officials today admitted that they were kidnapped by the left wing extremists.

Their statement came a day after the Malkangiri SDPO dismissed the report.

Two election officials Praveen Soren, Kaminikant Se have met top police officials and Collector today after being released from the rebels. They have apprised the officials about the ordeal, sources said.

They said three more officials-SP Rajguru,Padmanabha Bala, Babu-are still under the custody of the Maoists, while three others- Parsuram Behera, Lingaraj Majhi, Hrushi Nayak- had managed to escape from the spot after being informed by the villagers about the Maoist action.

“22 Maoist cadres were involved in abduction. They threatened us against participation in poll process”, said Praveen Soren, Kaminikant Se.

“While I was sleeping at around 7.30 am yesterday, one woman and three men asked me to come out of the room wearing dress. Later, they took us to Gorasetu village,” said Praveen Soren.

Meanwhile District Engineers’ Association has vehemently protested against the incident. The association has said they will not do any poll duties if they are not provided adequate security.

Rajnikanta Panigrahi, president of Malkangiri Engineers’ Association said, “We have demanded adequate security for us for panchayat poll duties. The collector has written to the Governor in this regard and assured us to provide security. If they fail to do so, we will not do any poll duties.”

S Saini, DIG South-western range, quoted the statements of the poll officials.

“The two election officials came in police contact today. They said that they were detained by Maoaist at Gora Setu village. More three gram panchayat officials were also detained along with them. As per their statement, the ultras asked them about election matter and urged them to support their call for poll boycott”, Saini said.

The details will be known after inquiry is over, she added.

Hours after the report of abduction, Malkangiri SDPO Rahul PR dubbed the report fake yesterday.

Also read: Poll officials safe, abduction report fake: Police

“There is no substance of Maoists kidnapping the officials. This is a rumour and based on fake information. Investigation is underway on it. Three of the five officials have returned while two are on their way. All are safe”, Malkangiri SDPO Rahul PR had said.

“There is no report of Maoist threat to them. I think they might have left the office as no nomination papers are scheduled to be filed in the next two days due to holidays”, he had added.