CM appeals to Maoists to extend deadline

Bhubaneswar: Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today appealed to the Maoists to extend the deadline set by them for fulfilment of their demands for release of abducted Malkangiri District Collector R V Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi.

"My appeal to the concerned persons is to extend the deadline of this evening and not to cause any harm to the two hostages," Patnaik told reporters here.

The chief minister said the government was in the process of trying to establish contact with some persons to discuss and negotiate for the release of Krishna and Majhi.

The government has conceded one of the demands made by the kidnappers by halting combing operations across the state for release of the two, who were abducted on Wednesday evening from Chitrakonda area of Malkangiri.

The Maoists, who had set a 48-hour deadline, also demanded release of all tribals who had been lodged in jails on charges of being ultras.