Maoists extend deadline as Orissa agrees to mediators | india | Hindustan Times
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Maoists extend deadline as Orissa agrees to mediators

The Orissa government on Friday gave the nod to two Maoist-nominated mediators to negotiate with the rebels for the release of abducted Malkangiri district collector R Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Pradip Majhi.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2011 12:34 IST
HT Correspondents

The Orissa government on Friday gave the nod to two Maoist-nominated mediators to negotiate with the rebels for the release of abducted Malkangiri district collector R Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Pradip Majhi.

Later, the Maoists extended the deadline for the government by 24 hours even as people across the state took out rallies urging the rebels to free the officials. The 48-hour deadline earlier expired in the afternoon.

Maoist leader Bhaskar suggested the mediators - Hyderabad-based civil rights activist G Hargopal and Sambalpur University's retired professor R Someswar Rao - through the local media. He said Krishna was abducted for playing an important role in the anti-Maoist "operation green hunt".

Bhaskar also demanded the release of Maoist leaders and people jailed on charges of having Maoist links in exchange for Krishna and Majhi.

Orissa has already halted anti-Maoist operations, as demanded by rebels.

The state has also sought social activist Swami Agnivesh's help for freeing the officials, who were abducted on Wednesday.