Orissa collector will be freed in 48 hours: Released engineer (Second Lead)By IANS
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
MALKANGIRI - Orissa junior engineer Pabitra Mohan Majhi, who was freed by Maoists Wednesday, said Malkangiri District Collector R. Vineel Krishna was “in good health” and the rebels will free him within 48 hours.
“He (collector) is safe and is still in the cut-off area. I do not know the exact location. The Maoists said they’ll release him within 48 hours,” Majhi said at a press conference here.
“They fed us rice and dal and we were being moved from one place to another,” he said.
Majhi also said the rebels did not cause any mental or physical harm to them.
Replying to a question about reports that the collector was ill and refused food, Majhi said: He was in good health and was eating fine.
He also said he was kept with the collector since the day of their abduction, although the rebels were moving them from one place to other.
Junior engineer Pabitra Mohan Majhi was released in the same Chitrakonda area, about 700 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, from where he had been kidnapped along with district collector R. Vineel Krishna Feb 16, sending shockwaves across the country .
People from various walks of life, including women, children and mediapersons thronged the official residence of the district collector at Malkangiri town, some 618 km from Bhubaneswar.
The Maoists, in a letter to the government, listed as many as 14 demands for the safe release of the two hostages.
The government agreed to all the demands after holding negotiations for three days in state capital Bhubaneswar with the three mediators - Mohanty and academicians Haragopal and R. Someswar Rao, all chosen by Maoists.
The release of the junior engineer came after Haragopal said Tuesday night that both the hostages will be released within 48 hours. Thousands of people in Orissa Wednesday anxiously awaited the arrival of Krishna.