Anti-Maoist operations on hold in Orissa

Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik has stopped all anti-Maoist operations in the state, abiding by the demands of the rebels who abducted Malkangiri collector in southern part of the state on Wednesday.

After R Vineel Krishna, 30, and a junior engineer were abducted at around 3pm, his captors made him write down their conditions for their release and set a 48-hour deadline.

The terms dictated were: end all anti-Maoist operations, remove BSF camps in southern Orissa and release people jailed for alleged Maoist links.

Malkangiri district, about 700km from Bhubaneswar, neighbouring Andhra and Chhattisgarh, is strategically important for the Maoists as they use the area as a corridor between the three states.

The police said Krishna had gone to attend a programme near Chitrakonda reservoir,  where Maoists massacred 38 policemen on June 29, 2008. Later, Maoist sympathisers drew him away to a spot 5km away on the pretext of showing him some developmental work.

Maoists abducted Krishna and junior engineers Pabitra Majhi and Damodar Suchet  who accompanied him. Later, they released Suchet with the demand letter.

 

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