Making an appeal for early release of abducted Malkangiri district collector R V Krishna, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday said the government was evaluating all options and monitoring the situation.
"I appeal for early release of the young and energetic officer who is known for his hard work among the poor and tribals," Patnaik told reporters in Bhubaneswar while terming the abduction of 30-year-old Krishna as unfortunate.
The government is evaluating all options and monitoring the situation closely, the chief minister said, adding efforts were on to secure early release of the officer.
The letter sent by the collector's captors had the handwriting of Krishna, he said, adding that the ultras are demanding a halt to anti-Maoist operations and release of all those lodged in jails on charge of their involvement in Naxal activities.
Krishna had visited the Maoist-hit Chitrakonda area in Malkangiri several times, he said, adding steps were being taken for the release of the 2005 batch IAS officer.
There was no trace of the 30-year-old IAS officer after he went from the camp held at Badapada bordering Andhra Pradesh to see a culvert on a road nearby on a motorcycle, Chitrakonda Tehsildar D Gopal Krishnan said.
While the collector and a junior engineer remained untraced, two others reached Badapada late Wednesday night with a letter, written by suspected Naxals, and handed it over to senior officials, he said.
Maoists have set a 48-hour deadline for the government to fulfill their demands.
In Delhi, Home Secretary G K Pillai said, "He (Krishna) was abducted by the Maoists and they sent the engineer back with a chit asking for... their so called demands. The state government and other officers are working on this".
Strongly condemning the abduction, Pillai said, "I don't think there is any need for any operation to release him. I am sure that the local support that he has and the state government will be able to negotiate and get his release".
"I think it will take some time because the area is quite cut-off but back channel efforts are underway and I think it will take a few days but we are quite confident of getting him back," he said.