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    Orissa hostage crisis: Naxals extend deadline

    New Delhi: There is no word yet on the release of district collector R V Krishna and engineer Pavitra Majhi. But the Maoists have given the authorities another 48 hours to comply with their demands. Families of the kidnapped are hopeful. "We are confident the issue will be sorted out soon," said RV Krishna's father-in-law.Hopes rising for District Collector RV Krishna and Pabita Majhi abducted on Wednesday by Maoists, even as the deadline expires tonight. Maoists have named 3 negotiators - Dr Hargopal, civil rights activist, Dandapani Mohanty, leader of a popular tribal movement in Orissa, and Professor R S Rao."In both Gutteg and Kayur, two major kidnapping cases in Andra Pradesh, the Andhra govt of went quite out of the way because in Gutteg when 7 IAS officers were released, they demanded the release of the seven comrades and govt released them. Now the govt in both the cases of kidnapping considered the lives of people far more important than technical issues involved in such cases," said civil rights activist Dr Hargopal, one of the mediators.Maoist demands include stopping operation Greenhunt, removing BSF camps, releasing 700 adivasis from jail, implementing the land reforms act in Narayanpatna, and a judicial enquiry into the killings in kalinganagar, Kashipur and Sonabeda.“We are opent to negotiations,” said Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Support for RV Krishna is pouring in from all sides, whether it is tribals or civil servants, riot victims -everyone has something good to say. RV Krishna's greatest hope comes from the support of locals, whom the Maoists risk alienating. “He is a very dynamic young pro tribal officer he done excellent work in all field of administration work in the district he try to bring all development in such a difficult area in spite of difficult situation he is doing excellent work his kidnapping shocks everyone we would appeal through your channel that he should be release immediately so that he continue to do his excellent work.,” said Arabinda Padhee, IAS officer.Krishna apart, Pabitra majhi, the junior engineer also abducted and the several Adivasis in jail are in danger of being forgotten. Careful handling of this high stakes battle could make this hostage crisis a turning point.