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I respect govts take on hostage crisis: HM

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Contrary to media reports of disagreement between Home Minister P Chidambaram and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on handling of hostage crisis, the former on Tuesday said that he respected the Orissa government`s "judgement" in handling the crisis last week.

"It`s not important whether we agree or disagree. The matter was handled by the state government and it was a sensitive matter. They have handled it to the best of their ability," he said.

He referred to Orissa government`s decision to release five people, including a writer, three women and one driver of a car in exchange of District Collector of Malkangiri Veenil Krishna who was abducted by Maoists.

Chidambaram said if that judgement has been taken by the government of Orissa as an appropriate response to a difficult situation, he respected that judgement.

Asked about reports that he differed with Patnaik on release of alleged Maoists in exchange of the abducted IAS officer, Chidambaram asked the reporter to check with the authors of the story.

It may be noted here that the state government had earlier said there was no agreement with the Maoist-chosen interlocutors on release of jailed rebels. However, the state government agreed to withdraw cases registered at Similiguda police station against three ultras—Padma, Iswari and Roja Madangi. The trio along with the driver Gokul Kuldipia was arrested on 13 November, 2010 while they were on their way to meet Maoist leader Ramkrishna alias RK.

Earlier, chief minister had said he had spoken to Home minister over phone and discussed the abduction issue where the Union minister had not raised any objection. Besides, chief minister had also spoken to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the latter had expressed concerns over release of Malkangiri Collector R Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Mohan Majhi.

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