Collector, engineer safe: Naveen

Bhubaneswar: Maintaining that abducted Malkangiri district Collector and the junior engineer were safe, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said Maoists have agreed not to harm the hostages when the talks are on.

This was conveyed during the ongoing negotiations between mediators and state government officials for safe release of Malkangiri Collector R V Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi, Patnaik said in a statement at the state Assembly here.

"The mediators assured the officials that no harm will be caused to the hostage duo, when talks are on," he said.

Stating that detailed discussion was being held in a congenial manner, Patnaik said it was agreed that there would not be any combing operation till the negotiations are over.

At the same time, the Maoists would not indulge in any untoward incident, disturbance or road blockade that could hamper the peace process as long as talks are on, the chief minister said.