Maoists let off abducted junior engineer Pabitra Majhi on Wednesday at a spot in Chitrakonda even as the prospects of a quick release of IAS officer R Vineel Krishna brightened. Both Krishna and Majhi were abducted from the Chitrakonda area of Malkangiri district, more than 700 km southwest of Bhubaneswar, on February 16.
The rebels dropped Majhi at a village, from where he came to Chitrakonda by bike along with two persons.
At a press conference in Malkangiri, Majhi said: “R Vineel Krishna (who is Malkangiri district collector) is fine. The Maoists have said they will free him in 48 hours. They have kept him in a secluded area. They freed me because they wanted to send a message to the government.”
On the other hand, though Maoist leader Ganti Prasadam, whose release the ultras demanded as a precondition for freeing Krishna and Majhi, got bail from the Orissa high court on Wednesday, he has refused to come out of jail.
“Prasadam said he would not leave jail until and unless the government released those innocents languishing in various jails of Orissa on charges of being Maoist,” said Dandapani Mohanty, one of the three mediators who took part in negotiations to secure the release of Krishna and Majhi.
Responding to other conditions laid down by the Maoists, the state government has agreed to withdraw cases against five Maoist leaders.
After the three-day discussion with the Maoist-nominated mediators, G Hargopal and R Someswar Rao, apart from Mohanty, home secretary UN Behera said the security forces would take no coercive action as long as the Maoists did not indulge in unlawful activities.