JE Pabitra Majhi released

Bhubaneswar: Celebrations broke out here after junior engineer (JE) Pabitra Mohan Majhi, one of the two hostages, was released on Wednesday after remaining for seven days in the captivity of the Maoists.

He reached safely at Chitrakonda block on Wednesday afternoon and took rest at Project guest house there.

However collector R V Krishna is still under the captivity of his captors. The Maoists, reportedly, had left the JE at Doliamba from where he reached Chitrakonda by motor boat, since the place is not connected by road.

As soon as the news on JE’s release broke, the family members heaved a shy of relief.

"I thank the Maoists, the state government and the people for their support in releasing my son. I am a bit worried as they haven`t freed the district collector yet," Pabitra`s mother Parvati Majhi said.

While the release of the JE has brightened hopes for the freedom of the Collector, people are still awaiting patiently for the official to arrive. However information about the release of the collector is yet to come.

"We have information that the JE has been released. Now we are waiting for the Collector to be released," Naveen Patnaik said.

"We have no specific information about the release of Mr Krishna," Home Secretary B K Patnaik said.

The JE and the collector were abducted by the Maoists while they had gone for some inspection works to the cut-off area of Malkangiri district on Wednesday last (February 16).  The state government was compelled to negotiate with the Maoists through interlocutors. One of the interlocutors G Hargopal, following successful negotiations with the state government, had reportedly informed on Tuesday night that the abducted collector and JE would come back within 48 hours.

The state home secretary U.N. Behera had also assured on Tuesday night that both of them would return safe. The government had agreed to fulfill all the 14 demands, drafted by the Maoists as conditions to set the kidnapped persons free, after a three-day talk with the two interlocutors on behalf of the Maoists. But Maoists have only freed the JE, still keeping the ball in their court.