Peace rallies seeking release of abducted collector

Bhubaneswar: In a mass outpouring of concern for abducted Malkangiri district Collector R V Krishna and an engineer, people from various sections of society took out peace rallies in several places of Orissa for the second day on Friday seeking their early release.

Besides Malkangiri, peace processions were held in Koraput, Nabarangpur, Gajapati, Kalahandi and Kandhamal districts with a large number of intellectuals, lawyers, teachers, school and college students taking part.

In the state capital, a signature campaign and candle lighting event was organised at Indian Red Cross Society`s Orissa state branch where participants made an appeal for release of the Collector and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi.

In Malkangiri, peace rallies were taken out at many places, including block headquarter towns, by people from all sections, including women from self help groups and voluntary organisations for early release of the two, held hostage by Maoists since Wednesday evening.

A large number of tribals also took part in the processions hailing Krishna as a tribal-friendly officer.

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

Though no bandh call was given by anyone, life came to a halt in the tribal-dominated district as schools, colleges, offices, shops and business establishments remained closed for the second day as a spontaneous response to the kidnapping incident.

Vehicular movement was also disrupted in Malkangiri district as people remained anxious about the fate of the collector and junior engineer.

A bandh was also observed at Phulbani, the district headquarter town of Kandhamal in protest against the abduction of the two and demanding their early release.

Describing Krishna as a dedicated and sincere officer who worked hard for the development of the backward district and welfare of the poor and tribals, people organised signature campaigns for his safety.

Simialar peace rallies were also organised in neighbouring Koraput, Jeypore, Nabarangpur and Gajapati seeking safe release of Krishna and Majhi.