Malkangiri collector R Vineel Krishna, abducted by Maoists on February 16, was released at 3pm on Thursday even as the Orissa government buckled under pressure and gave in to a new set of ransom demands.
Speaking to the media outside his official quarters — amidst the bursting of crackers by family and friends — he said: “I’m moved by the affection shown by the people.”
The tribals of Malkangiri and surrounding areas had taken out marches in his support after his abduction. Krishna said the Maoists had treated him well and discussed development-related issues.
Reacting to his release, Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik said, “We made some commitments and we honoured those commitments.”
Krishna said his captors had organised a public meeting in Tenduliguda village on Thursday afternoon, which was attended by more than 1,000 tribals. At the meeting, Maoist leaders delivered speeches on development and mining issues. Following this, he was taken to Chitrakonda, about 80 km away, from where he reached home.