Bhubaneswar: Five Maoists booked at Koraput
jail expressed their unwillingness to be released despite
being granted bail by the Orissa High Court after the state
government decided to withdraw cases against them in the wake
of Malkangiri district collector`s abduction.
The Maoist leaders demanded the release of 627 tribals
lodged in different jails.
"Unless the government starts initiative to free the
tribals from jail according to the agreement, we will not
avail of the bail," Ganti Prasadam told his lawyer Nihar
Patnaik on Monday.
When contacted, Home Secretary U N Behera said, "It is
upto them to get released, If they do not want, what more we
can do," Behera said.
He claimed the state government was working on the
agreements made with mediators before release of Malkangiri
collector R V Krishna. "We had committed to start verifying
cases against tribals and we are doing that," Behera said.
"I spoke to Ganti Prasadam and others at Koraput jail.
They are not ready to be released as the state government is
yet to take steps for release of tribals," Patnaik said.
While Ganti was granted bail by the High Court on February
25, four others, including Maoist leader Ramakrishna`s wife
Padma, Andaluri Eswari, Rosa Mandingi and Gokul Kuldipia were
given conditional bail by the same court on March 4.
However, they were not ready to get released due to the
two reasons, said Dandapani Mohanty, one of the three
mediators who negotiated with the state government for release
of Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi.
This apart, Mohanty said the Maoists were also
contemplating to challenge Orissa High Court`s grant of
conditional bail in the Supreme Court.
Though all the five were booked under same charges, the
court granted bail to Ganti Prasadam without any condition
while it put stringent conditions for four others, including
Padma, the advocate said, adding the Maoists might file a
modification petition in the Apex Court.
This apart, sources said the Maoists were unwilling to
get released because it could create a division in the outfit.
Bail was granted to all the five Telegu speaking Maoists
as the abductors had not demanded release of any Oriya cadre.
This might give a wrong message to the Maoists`s rank and
file, feel many supporters of the rebel outfit here.
Padma, Eswari, Roja and Gokul were arrested by Orissa
police in Semiliguda in Koraput district on November 13 last
year when they were sneaking in from Andhra Pradesh in a car.
The difference between arrest of Ganti Prasadam and four
others was that the police had recovered Maoist literature
from Padma and others. Therefore, they were booked under
charges of sedition and waging war against the Government.
However, in case of Ganti, there was no solid evidence
against him, said a senior police officer.
"They (Maoists) were opposed to HC judgement which
directed the Orissa government to hand over the four persons
to Andhra Pradesh police," advocate Patnaik pointed out.
They were opposed to the court direction which prohibited
them from entering into Orissa, the advocate said.