Naxals released Abducted Collector in Orissa

After being held hostage for seven days, Malkangiri district collector R V Krishna and a junior engineer were released by Maoists on Tuesday night hours after the Orissa government conceded the remaining six of their 14 demands. Naxal ideologue Varavara Rao told that the Maoists handed over Krishna, the 30-year-old IIT graduate-turned IAS officer, and Pabitra Majhi to "four sarpanchs" in Govindpally forests, about 150 km from Malkangiri. However, there was no official confirmation that the two officials were set free. Jay Panda, a ruling BJD MP, said, "The information that I have is that both the collector and the engineer have been released." "We welcome the development," he said. Celebrations broke out outside the residence of Krishna in Malkangiri, about 650 km from Bhubaneswar, as news of the release of the hugely popular officer trickled in. Both Krishna and Majhi were reported to be on their way home to Malkangiri late on Tuesday night.