Not subjected to any assault in Maoist captivity: Collector

Affirming he was not assaulted in Maoist captivity, Malkangiri District Collector RV Krishna, said that he came back because of the tribals who had showered him with all the love and affection.

Updated: Feb 24, 2011, 23:50 PM IST

Malkangiri: Affirming he was not
assaulted in Maoist captivity, Malkangiri District Collector RV Krishna, released after being held hostage for nine days,
on Thursday night said that he came back because of the tribals who had
showered him with all the love and affection.

"There was no physical or mental torture on me or the
junior engineer Pabitra Majhi when we were held captive by the
Maoists", the 2005 batch IAS officer said adding his abduction
was a surprise.

The 30-year-old, who was accorded a warm welcome by
people from all walks of life all along the road from
Chitrakonda to the district headquarters town following the
end of his nine-day captivity, said he felt indebted to the
tribals for being lavished with all love and affection.

Recollecting the hours when he was taken hostage,
Krishna said "after attending a public interaction camp at
Badapada, I had gone to inspect a development scheme at an
interior pocket when some people surrounded me. They told me
that I and Majhi were being abducted."

Asserting that he was treated well by the ultras,
Krishna said there was "not much" problem in the Maoist camp.

"They gave me the same food they were having", the IIT
graduate-turned IAS officer recalled.

The menu for lunch and dinner was mostly rice and dal,
the collector said adding he was confined in a cut-off area
and was shifted from one camp to another.

"I was thinking of development of tribal people during
my nine-day stay in the capitivity", Krishna said to a
question about his state of mind as a hostage. He felt that
the abductors released him to solve problems faced by tribals
in a backward district like Malkangiri, Krishna added.

While addressing tribals at the Maoists`s `People`s
court` where he was released in the presence of the media,
Krishna referred how in the course of his 11 months as
Collector of Malkangiri, he had taken several steps for the
welfare of people.

"I went to a cut-off area because many government
officials are reluctant to go there due to the difficult
terrain and inaccessibility", he said.

Krishna, who was garlanded by tribals at villages on
way to Malkangiri, said many work in the remote area had been
hampered as government employees were often scared of visiting
Naxal-prone zone.

He claimed his visit to the Maoist zone was to
motivate the government officials and others.

Meanwhile celebrations began
in Malkagiri on Thursday night following the release of Malkangiri District
Collector as his family members thanked
the Naxal-chosen mediators, the people as well as the rebels
for ending the nine-day hostage crisis.

Distributing sweets and bursting crackers, the family
members of the IAS officer
were overwhelmed with joy as Krishna returned safely after
spending nine days in the captivity of Maoists.

"We are thankful to the mediators for the all-out
efforts they made to ensure the release of Krishna...the
release was possible by the deadline", said a relieved R
Rambabu, father of Krishna.

Rambabu, who had arrived in Malkangiri following Krishna`s
abduction, thanked the people of Orissa and the state
government for the support they extended ever since the
collector and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi were kidnapped on
February 16.

"I am also thankful to the Maoists for showing the
humane side. I am told they also treated him (Krishna) well",
he said adding, "I understand Krishna is in good health though
he seems to be a little fatigued."

As the family members, including Krishna`s wife, were
beaming, thousands of locals gathered outside the collector`s
residence to have a glimpse of the released officer.

A big crowd, which included a large number of tribals,
women and children, raised slogans with many of them dancing
to drum beats as Krishna reached his residence.

"I am happy to see the collector who is back safely
after nine days in the captivity of Naxals", said an old
tribal as his son set off crackers.

Krishna is popular among tribals and has been
working with dedication for the welfare of the poor and the
downtrodden, said Ratnakar, a young writer.

"I have been waiting for hours to have a glimpse of
the collector. Now I am glad to see him", said a young college

Life in tribal-dominated Malkangiri district came to a
grinding halt after Krishna`s abduction with spontaneous
shutting down of shops, business establishments, offices and
schools and colleges.

People from all sections of society had taken out
rallies across the district seeking his safe release.