May 25, 2011 at 07:31am IST

Government reminded of unkept promises

BHUBANESWAR: Talks between Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the mediators, who played a key role in the release of then Malkangiri Collector R Vineel Krishna, could not reach a common ground on the issue of violence with both sides asking the other to stop it first.  Talking to media-persons after the meeting, Naveen said the Maoists should stop violence. There have been a number of violent incidents during the last three months, he said. Maoist sympathiser and noted revolutionary poet from Andhra Pradesh Vara Vara Rao, however, said there would be no reason for the Maoists to resort to violence if the State stops it. Both the sides handed over lists of violations of the 14-point agreement at the meeting to each other. Prof Hargopal, one of the mediators, said peace must prevail for the development of the tribals in the State. The mediators have requested both sides to abstain from violence. The Government informed the mediators that it has started the process of release of 168 tribals involved in nine cases related to Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS). The cases will be withdrawn by June. Besides, 55 other minor cases against the tribals will also be withdrawn.  The Chief Minister said a committee, headed by the chief administrator of the KBK region, has been set up to prepare a report on land-related issues and their restoration to the tribals. The mediators demanded that a case in Semiliguda police station against Ganti Prasadam and four others should be withdrawn. Demanding release of tribals lodged in various Orissa jails without delay, the Maoists-selected mediators accused the Government of not keeping its promises made then. Among other demands, the Government had agreed to release around 600 tribals lodged at different jails on charges of Naxal activities.  “The State Government had promised that the process to release tribals will begin within 15 days from the date of agreement and free all of them within three months. Though 90 days have already passed, not a single tribal has been released,” pointed out Prof Hargopal.