HC grants bail to Maoist Ganti Prasadam

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Wednesday granted bail to top Maoist leader Ganti Prasadam, whose release is among the conditions set by the Naxals for the safe return of abducted Malkangiri District Collector R V Krishna.

The court granted him bail on a bond of Rs 20,000 with two sureties.

Prasadam was among the five Naxal leaders whose release was demanded by abductors of Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi, who was freed earlier in the day.

However, Dandapani Mohanty, one of the Maoist-chosen mediators, claimed that Prasadam would like to remain in jail despite getting bail till all 627 tribals were released from prison.

Mohanty said Prasadam conveyed this when he met the Naxal leader in Jharpada Jail here.

The court directed the petitioner to approach the Koraput district session court which would lay down other conditions.

The government did not oppose the bail of Prasadam, who was booked under charges like sedition and waging war against the state.

The government counsel told the court that there was no evidence against Prasadam except the statement of a co-accused.

The bail pleas of four other ultras including Padma, wife of top Maoist Ramakrishna, is likely to come up for hearing later.