Bhubaneswar, Feb 23 (IANS) Ganti Prasadam, a Maoist ideologue whose release was sought by the rebels in exchange for an abducted Orissa collector, was Wednesday granted bail but is unwilling to leave jail till the government takes steps to release his nearly 600 jailed comrades, a mediator said Wednesday.
Police sources confirmed that Orissa High Court had granted Prasadam bail.
But Dandapani Mohanty, one of the mediators appointed to defuse the hostage crisis, said Prasadam will not leave prison until and unless the government takes steps for the release of over 600 people languishing in various jails in the state on charges of being involved in Maoist activities.
Malkangiri District Collector R. Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Mohan Majhi were abducted by the Maoists Feb 16. The Maoists, in a letter to the government, listed as many as 14 demands for the safe release of the two hostages.
The demands included halting anti-Maoist operations by security forces, release of all political prisoners, scrapping of accords with multi-national companies for land transfer and projects, and compensation for the families of Maoist sympathisers killed in police custody.
The Maoists Wednesday released the junior engineer a day after the government agreed to all their demands after holding negotiations for three days in the state capital with the three mediators – Mohanty, and academicians G. Haragopal and R. Someswar Rao, chosen by the rebels.