Soren accepts key demand of Maoists | india | Hindustan Times
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Soren accepts key demand of Maoists

Accepting a key demand of Maoists for safe release of an abducted Jharkhand Block Development Officer, Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren said on Wednesday the legal process has begun to free some of the jailed persons who the Naxals claimed to be innocent.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2010 02:04 IST

Accepting a key demand of Maoists for safe release of an abducted Jharkhand Block Development Officer, Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren said on Wednesday the legal process has begun to free some of the jailed persons who the Naxals claimed to be innocent.

"Maoists have set some conditions to set free Dalbhumgarh BDO Prasant Kumar Layek. Their chief demand is to release innocent villagers now lodged in Dalbhumgarh jail. All the cases are pending in the court. The legal process to release them has already begun," Soren read out from a written statement at a news conference in Ranchi.

"So, I appeal to them (Maoists) to set free our officer unharmed at the earliest," he said.

Maoists, who kidnapped Layek on Saturday, had earlier in the day demanded a statement from chief minister on their conditions to set the BDO free.

The extremists had said on Tuesday that they will release Layek if the state government give in writing regarding fulfilment of their demands including unconditional release of 14 of their men arrested by police. The Maoists had alleged that all the 14 were implicated in false cases by police.

In Jamshedpur, Jharkhand police admitted two of the 14 chargesheeted Maoists were innocent and falsely implicated.

Earlier, giving time and space to Maoists to release the BDO, Jharkhand government today put on hold the ongoing search operation, a senior official said here today.

"We have not stopped the search operation but put it on hold today to allow enough space to the Maoists for the safe release of Layek", East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Ravindra Agarwal said.