Bhubaneswar, Feb 18 (IANS) Orissa Friday asked two academics to initiate a dialogue with Maoists for the release of Malkangiri district collector R. Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Mohan Majhi, officials said.
State chief secretary B.K. Patnaik said the government is talking to R. Someswara Rao, a retired economics professor of Sambalpur University; and Hargopal, a professor of the Central University (Hyderabad), to end the hostage crisis.
“We have held a discussion with Hargopal and asked them to mediate,” he told reporters.
The government picked up the names after a section of media reported that the Andhra-Orissa Border State Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) of the Communist Party of India-Maoist had suggested their names.
Krishna and Majhi were abducted Wednesday evening and the Maoists set a 48-hour deadline for their release that ends Friday evening.