Maoist leader Ganti Prasadam, whose release the ultras seek in exchange of abducted Malkangiri collector R Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi, was brought to Bhubaneswar late on Monday night from Koraput, 600 km away. He had been brought to Koraput from a jail in Andhra Pradesh in the morning.
"I have to join the interlocutors. I have to take stock of the situation. The government’s responsibility before us all is to defuse the situation. The impasse should not be allowed to continue for long,” said Prasadam just after arriving in Bhubaneswar.
"Prasadam's bail plea along with those of some other leaders will be moved in Orissa high court on Wednesday," his lawyer Prasanta Jena told the Hindustan Times.
The three mediators – civil rights activist G Hargopal, academician R Someswar Rao and social activist Dandapani Mohanty – met Prasadam at Jharpada Jail here on Tuesday before the beginning of the third day’s discussion, which focuses on the six key issues that remain unresolved so far.
The six issues include demand for release of about 700 people in jail on alleged Maoist activities, for judicial inquiry into recent "fake" encounters and alleged rape of a girl in Gajapati district by some special protection group (SOG) personnel, engaged in anti-Maoist operation.
Agreement on the issues may brighten the release of Krishna and Majhi. “I hope the discussion will end today,” said Hargopal before the beginning of Tuesday’s discussion.
The Maoist-nominated mediators on Monday drove a hard bargain with the state government officials on the second day negotiations on Monday.
Mahanty, whose role as a mediator was reluctantly accepted by the government, came up with a 14-point demand of the rebels.
After talks with the mediators, Orissa home secretary UN Behera said eight of the 14 issues discussed had been resolved.
They pertained to the Polavaram project, enlisting two communities as scheduled tribes, scrapping of MoUs with multinational companies, cancellation of bauxite mining lease in Mali and Deomali in south Orissa, issue of land patta to tribals in Koraput and Malkangiri and release of two women cadres from jails in Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand.
Behera hoped the other six issues would be resolved on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Krishna and Majhi spent their seventh day in captivity.