Bhubaneswar, March 14: Maoists have warned the state government against dilly dallying over the 14-point agreement that had paved the way for the release of abducted Malkangiri collector R. Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi.
Maoist ideologue Ghanti Prasad, whose arrival on the scene stepped up the process of negotiations to resolve the hostage crisis, said that the government would be committing a “political blunder” by dishonouring the agreement that was arrived at between the government and the three interlocutors chosen by the rebels.
Prasad, whose release from jail was also one of the conditions put forward by the Maoists for releasing the collector, said the government should not allow itself to be swayed by forces who appeared to be hell bent upon sabotaging the agreement and disrupting the peace process initiated by the two sides.
“The agreement should not be allowed to remain a mere piece of paper,” said Prasad adding that the responsibility of implementing the agreement lies with the Naveen Patnaik government which cannot afford to drag its feet over the issue.
The statement of the Maoist leader, who has refused to come out of jail despite being granted bail by the Orissa High Court, comes in the wake of reports that the government is planning to resume combing operation against the rebels who appear to be consolidating.
With disturbing signals coming from the Narayanpatna area of Koraput, where the Maoist-backed Chasi Muliya Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) has stepped up its activities, the government appears to be worried at the possibility of the rebels taking further advantage of the lull in police action against them since February 16 when the Malkangiri collector was abducted.
As far as the 14-point agreement is concerned, the government so far has done nothing except send instructions to the districts to prepare the list of tribal people languishing in the jails in their areas. The Maoists have demanded the release of more than 700 tribals lodged in different jails on the charges of indulging in pro-Maoist activities. Prasad described them as “innocent adivasi peasants” thrown into jails on concocted charges.
The government is also yet to take a decisive step to address the land issue.