Though he was freed from Maoist captivity on Wednesday, junior engineer Pabitra Majhi did not go home. But now he can, because his main anxiety – IAS officer R Vineel Krishna not being released – has ended.
“Let the collector be freed. After that, I will decide on meeting relatives,” Majhi had earlier told his seniors.
To a question whether he would be willing to continue working in the area where he was abducted, he said: “The fear no longer exists. I am more than willing to again work there with more dedication”, impressed as he has been by the people’s support, which has demolished the belief that the villagers never oppose the rebels or question their action.
Tribals came out in large numbers, seeking the release of the collector a day after the abduction.
Majhi was more daunted by the huge gathering of media persons waiting for him than he was scared of the Maoists.
“The fear actually gripped me when I came before the media. The initial anxiety I felt when Maoists kidnapped me fizzled out during the seven-day confinement,” he said.
The junior engineer said all along he was with the collector and they were not prevented from talking to each other. The collector talked with the abductors in Telugu, which Majhi does not understand.
A medical test confirmed Majhi is fit, though his blood pressure was low. The malaria test proved negative. A senior officer said Maoists had instructed Majhi to wear a helmet while returning -- even while sitting on the boat and riding the motor-bike.