Bhubaneswar: Though a week has passed
after Maoists abducted a policeman and barely a day remained
to respond to their demands for his release, Orissa government
has no information about his whereabouts.
Assistant sub-inspector of police Umesh Chandra
Marandi was abducted by Maoists on the night of July 7 while
on duty in Daitari police station in Keonjhar district.
Police sources said he remained traceless. Chief
Minister Naveen Patnaik, however, said required steps were
being taken to rescue the kidnapped ASI.
For Marandi`s release, Maoist leader Sushil had given
three days` time to the government to concede to their demands
and threatened that they might take any step if the demands
were not met. The deadline would end at 6 pm tomorrow.
They demanded release of 68 tribals lodged in various
jails on charge of having link with the Maoists and a halt to
alleged atrocities on tribals at the Kalinga Nagar industrial
complex in Jajpur district "in the name of industrialisation".
While the state government was yet to respond to the
demand, Marandi`s family have stopped meeting people or even
talking outsiders out of fear. "As they did not respond to our
appeal, we think the family`s public statement on the issue
might irk the ultras," a family member said.
The family had appealed to the Maoists to release
Marandi, a diabetic patient, but in vain.
"We do not know what will happen once the Maoist`s
deadline passes," said Marandi`s sister-in-law Sita.
Orissa DGP Manmohan Praharaj also appealed to the
ultras to release Marandi.