NDTV Tuesday, April 4, 2006 (Bhubaneswar):
The two officials – Sub-inspector Ranjan Mallik and jail superintendent Rabinarayan Sethi – were taken hostage by the Naxalites during an attack on R Udaygiri on March 24.
Kept in a camp deep in Naxal territory near the border with Andhra Pradesh, they were first tracked down by NDTV.Relieved at being freed, both officials said the abductors had taken good care of them."They let us go today at about 3 pm (IST). I can’t exactly say why they released me, but I’m very happy," said Mallik. "They treated us well and gave us all kinds of amenities," he added.
Humanitarian grounds The Naxals had put out demands including the release of their comrades.Bu they said that the officials had been released on humanitarian grounds and added that the state government made no attempts to negotiate. Sethi and Mallik are looking forward to reuniting with their loved ones. Their families are equally relieved over the news of their release."I am like any other mother. I bless everybody including the Naxals and I hope the kindness they have shown remains," said Mallik’s mother. Life in the enemy camp may not have been as bad as the officials expected, but for them freedom came not a moment too soon.