Fresh Maoist demand complicates situation

Malkangiri: The hostage crisis deepened furthermore as Maoists on Wednesday evening set fresh demands for release of Malkangiri District collector.

Albeit the Junior Engineer Pabitra Majhi was released safe today morning after the state government conceded to all the 14 demands of the ultras yesterday, the Collector R Vineel Krishna is still in the captivity of the Maoists.

In their fresh demand, the ultras have pressed for a face-to-face meeting with the interlocutors to set Krishna free. However, the interlocutors have turned down their demand and said it would not be possible for them to meet them.

Terming the demand as improper, interlocutors Prof. Hargopal, R. Someswar and Dandapani Mohanty appealed the ultras to release the collector at the earliest. 

“Alike the government had taken three months time to solve the problems of the tribals, Maoists have taken 48 hours and we hope they will release the Collector soon. Even we have appealed them to release as early as possible,: said Dandapani Mohanty, interlocutor.

Speculations were rife on Tuesday night that the officials would be released on the same night and a large number of people had gathered in front of the official residence of the Collector to greet the duo.

Earlier, the interlocutors had assured the government that the hostages would be freed within 48 hours. 

With fresh demands of the rebels, the hostage crisis seems to be far from over.