The Orissa government on Monday evening started shifting jailed Maoists Ganti Prasad Rao from Koraput to Bhubaneswar to carry forward negotiations with interlocuters, hours after saying it was confident of securing release of Malkangiri collector R Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Mohan Majhi very soon.
The development followed the government, settling 8 of the 14 Maoists demands to let go of Krishna and Mache, whom guerillas kidnapped on February 16. ‘We have come to agreement on eight issues based on specific government measures and decisions”, home secretary U N Behera said on a CPI [Maoist]- sponsored Orissa bandh evoked mixed response. He said both abducted are safe.
Behera and panchayatiraj secretary S N Tripathy engaged in marathon talks with a three member team of Maoist-nominated interlocutors, comprising academics R Someswar Rao, G Hargopal and Ganjam –based activist Dandapani Mohanty for the second consecutive day.
The mediators want Ganti to participate in the talks. The government, official sources said, agreed to transfer Ganti to Bhubaneswar, 600 km from Koraput. “The high court will take up hearing in the case on February 23,” lawyer Prashant Jena, who moved the bail petition said.
Even the high court rejects Ganti’s bail, he can be available for negotiations. The interlocutors can meet him,” a senior government officer said. God may bless Krishna and Majhi and talks be fruitful.