//Abducted Orissa officials seek safe release

Abducted Orissa officials seek safe release

Abducted Orissa officials seek safe releasePurshottam Singh Thakur Saturday, April 1, 2006 (R Udaygiri): Two Orissa police officials who were abducted by the Naxals during an attack at R Udaygiri have said that they are safe.

This comes after NDTV managed to meet with them in a temporary Naxalite camp at an undisclosed forest location along the Andhra-Orissa border.

The two officials – 27-year-old Sub-inspector Ranjan Mallik and 56-year-old jail superintendent Rabinarayan Sethi – were taken hostage by the Naxalites during an attack on Ramgiri-Udaygiri in Orissa’s Gajapati district on March 24.

Appealing to the state government for their swift release, both Mallik and Sethi told NDTV that they are being treated well."We are here since March 24. The forest does not suit my health but they are taking good care of us and looking after my health condition, they even give me glucose," said Sethi.

"They are nice people. Tell my wife and children to be patient. I am fine. They have also assured me that they will not kill me," added Sethi.

Swift release Mallik too wants the state government to secure their early release."I appeal to the government to take steps and fulfill their demands so that we can be released. My appeal to my parents is not to worry about the problem," said Mallik.

Sunil alias Sabysachi Panda who happens to be the state secretary of the ultra left outfit said the objective behind the attack at Udaygiri was to loot arms and to mount pressure on the government to release their comrades and innocent adivasis languishing in the prisons.

Their five demands also include the withdrawal of central forces and a complete halt to the displacement of people in the name of industrialization.

"Unless the government concedes to our five demands, we are not going to release these two officers," said Panda. Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has said that the government agencies were making all possible efforts to secure the release of the two officials.