Collector`s driver on indefinite hunger strike
Malkangiri: Ever since the
abduction of Malkangiri District Collector RV Krishna by
Maoists, his driver has been on an indefinite hunger strike on
the banks of a river demanding the release of his boss.
Shankar Rao, the government driver of Krishna, had
driven the jeep bearing the Collector and had been to Badapada
under Maoist-stronghold Chitrokonda block to attend a camp for
local development, when the officer was kidnapped.
Shankar was sitting on dharna on the banks of River
Gurupriya near Janbai ghat since Wednesday waiting for the
Collector to return and all their efforts to convince him
to break the fast yielded little response, officials said.
"He has been sitting on dharna without taking food
since Wednesday. We forced him to take some food today and
asked him to shift his dharna to the Tahasil office at
Chitrakonda instead of doing so under the open sky in a remote
area but he was not prepared to budge," local Tehsildar D
Gopal Krishna said.
Shankar`s family members, including his wife, children
and parents, had also asked him to break the fast or shift to
the Tehsil office at Chitrakonda to sit on fast but nothing
happened, they said.
"I will not move out of this place come what may,"
Shankar, loyal to the Collector, said, adding, "If Collector
sir can pass through the agony meted out to him by the Maoists
why can`t I?".
However, the jeep was brought to the Tehsil office at
Chitrakonda today suspecting that the Maoists could target the
vehicle, the tehsildar said.
A similar hunger strike was staged by additional BDO
of Kalimela at his office seeking release of the Collector but
he was shifted to hospital as his condition deteriorated
today, officials said.
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