After 9 days, Malkangiri Collector freed

Bhubaneswar: Malkangiri District Collector R Vineel Krishna has been freed by the Maoists on Thursday evening after holding him in captivity for nine days.

The change in stance by the ultras had raised concerns over the release of the official. Despite, the state government conceding to all the demands set by Maoists, the latter retraced and set fresh demands for release.

The release of junior engineer Pabitra Mohan Majhi yesterday had brightened hopes for release of the Collector. While addressing the media, Majhi expressed that the ultras would release Krishna in 48 hours.

Later in the evening, the fresh demands of the rebels deepened the hostage crisis prompting marathon talks with the interlocutors and at government level.

The new demands included immediate release of five senior Maoist leaders and face-to-face talks with the mediators.

Intensifying efforts for safe release of Krishna, the state government today dispatched the two Maoist-chosen interlocutors Dandapani Mohanty and Prof Hargopal for Koraput in a special chopper to resolve protracted hostage crisis.
 
However, within hours of reaching Koraput, the Collector was freed from the captors.

It may be recalled that on February 16, Malkangiri District Collector R Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Mohan Majhi were abducted from Chitrakonda while they were on an official visit to a remote area.