Peace processions demanding release of collector

Bhubaneswar: Protesting against the abduction of Malkangiri district Collector R V Krishna and engineer Pabitra Majhi by Maoists, people from various sections of the society took out peace processions in several places of the state on Thursday demanding their early release.

Intellectuals, lawyers, teachers, school and college students and housewives staged a procession in the district headquarter town of Malkangiri.

The silent procession went around the town carrying placards and banners with appeals like "Free our beloved Collector" and "Please release the tribal friendly Collector."

Appealing to the red rebels not to cause any harm to the abducted duo, they said violence offered no solution to any problem.

Normal life was affected in the tribal-dominated and Maoist hit district as schools, colleges, offices, shops and business establishments remained closed in a spontaneous response to the abduction. None had given any call for bandh.

Describing Krishna as a sincere officer who worked hard for the development of the backward district and welfare of the poor and tribals, the locals also held an all-faith prayer meeting for his early release.

Similar peace processions were also organised in neighbouring Koraput, Jeypore and Rayagada districts.

"The Maoists should not have kidnapped Krishna who had gone to Chitrakonda area to hear about people`s problems and find solutions," district collector of Rayagada Nitin Bhanudas Jawle said while attending a prayer meet.

He said Krishna`s sincerity and commitment towards the people, particularly tribals, was evident from the fact that he did not even hesitate to take a bike ride without security to inspect a culvert.