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Footsore woe for collector

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 22: Abducted Malkangiri collector R. Vineel Krishna had been worn out by constant movement through the forests on the Orissa-Andhra Pradesh-Chhatisgarh border with his captors, said sources.

Apart from looking frail and weak, he had a painful sore in his foot, said the official sources.

“They have kept him moving from one hide-out to another. The sore was caused on Sunday while moving through the dense forests on foot,” said sources.

Junior engineer Pabitra Majhi, who was kidnapped along with the collector, was reported to be fine.

Kudumuluguma additional block development officer (ABDO) Venu Kishan said that the collector had suffered a cut on his leg.

“We have sent him a pack of ointment through messengers. Otherwise the sore might worsen and go septic. We have also sent him a few other medicines to overcome the headache he has been suffering from,” said the Kudumuluguma additional block development officer.

According to reports, the collector has been suffering from fever. However, the state government has denied this. Krishna was refusing regular food and was surviving only on bread, sources said.

Dr C.H. Prabhakar, chief medical officer (CDMO) Malkangiri, said: “We received a communication from the government to be ready with medical kits. We have arranged medicines for different types of diseases, including malaria.”

Sources said the district collector had sent a message that he badly required undergarments, dress and a blanket. These things have been sent through messengers.

Kishan, who has been working in Malkangiri for the past 17 years, said: “We purchased two pairs of pants and shirts and some undergarments for Majhi. We have sent all these through messengers. They have assured us not to cause any harm to the hostages.”

The cut-off area of Malkangiri from where the collector and the junior engineer have been kidnapped falls under the Kudumulguma block.

In another development, around 4,000 villagers of the cut-off area in Badaguma gram panchyat today tried to enter the forest and organise a rally in support of the hostages.

However, the Maoists urged the villagers not to indulge in such acts as it could result in harm to the hostages.

Kishan said: “The Maoists asked us to wait for outcome of the negotiations. They have assured us that they would take care of the collector and the junior engineer till then.”

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