Somewhere in Orissa....

Members of civil society and students took out rallies across the state on Saturday, urging Maoists to release Malkangiri collector R Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Mohan Majhi. At least five rallies were organized in Bhubaneswar alone. Civil society organizations, IAS officers, Indian Red Cross Society members, Orissa diploma engineers and students of Satyabhama Devi College for Hearing Impaired took out separate silent rallies pleading for the abductees’ release. ‘‘We request the Maoists to release Krishna and Majhi unhurt,’’ said IAS officer Usha Padhee. Around 500 people took part in a peace and solidarity march from Jayprakash Narayan Park (Master Canteen) to Lower PMG in Bhubaneswar holding banners and placards. The march was jointly called by Agami Odisha, Odisha Nagarik Samaj, Odisha Shanti O Sadvawana Abhiyan and Human Development Foundation. ‘‘We appealed to the civil society members to rise up to the occasion and express their solidarity for the cause of maintaining peace and release of Krishna and Majhi,’’ said Sudarsan Das, secretary of Human Development Foundation. Students and Red Cross volunteers took part in a signature campaign in the state capital seeking the release of the two.Advocates in Sambalpur organised a motorcycle rally in support of the Malkangiri collector. ‘‘Our main intention behind the rally was to give moral support to the collector of Malkangiri and the junior engineer who were abducted by the Maoists. We have appealed the Maoists to release the two unhurt,’’ said Sambalpur Bar general secretary Dilip Bishi. In Jharsuguda, civil society members, students and government employees took part in a rally from MM High School to the collectorate. Thousands of women from various self-help groups (SHGs) took out a rally in Angul town and demonstrated in front of the district collectorate. Members of Angul Non-Gazetted Employees Union also staged a demonstration in front of the office of the district collector. Tribals in Kandhamal district on Saturday joined others in appealing to the Maoists to release the Malkanagiri collector and the junior engineer. Around 700 Kue tribals, including women and children, braved rains and went around Baliguda, the subdivisional headquarter town of the district, seeking release of Krishna and Majhi.

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