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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Orissa Govt examines charges against key jailed Maoists

PTI  Bhubaneswar, February 19, 2011
First Published: 20:26 IST(19/2/2011) | Last Updated: 20:28 IST(19/2/2011)

Ahead of the meeting with the mediators, the Orissa Government on Saturday examined charges against certain key Maoists whose release would facilitate the safe return of abducted Malkangiri Collector and a junior engineer, officials said.

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The state government's move came after it received a list of names of Maoists lodged in different jails of Orissa on sedition charges.

During preliminary telephonic talks, Prof Hargopal, one of the two interlocutors, had suggested to the state home secretary that it would be easy to negotiate with the abductors if some key persons like Ganti Prasad were released.

This apart, the Maoists, through the district administration of Malkangiri had given certain names for their release, claiming that they had no direct involvement with any criminal activities in Orissa.

Sriramlu Srinivasulu, former chief of Revolutionary Writers Association in Andhra Pradesh and senior member of the CPI(Maoist), was another person whose release was demanded.

Besides Strinivasulu, Maoists had also demanded the release of Padma, wife of a senior Maoist leader.

While considering the demands made by Maoists through letters and mediators, the state government today held a high level meeting attended by chief secretary, B K Patnaik, Home Secretary U N Behera and anti-Maoist operation officers.

Asked whether the government has agreed to release some rebels, chief secretary B K Patnaik said, "The state government has not taken any decision regarding the release of any Maoists as per demands. The issue may come up only during formal negotiations."

However, he did not rule out the possibility of release of any Maoist leader to facilitate safe release of the two men.

"It is premature to say that the government has agreed to release any one now. Let us wait for the discussion," the chief secretary said.

The abduction of collector R V Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi from remote Chitrakonda area, a Maoist stronghold in  Malkangiri district bordering Andhra Pradesh, has drawn widespread condemnation with people from all walks of life staging peace rallies in different parts of the state seeking their early and safe release.

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