Bhubaneswar: Ending the suspense over the release of abducted Malkangiri District Collector R V Krishna, Maosists freed him on Thursday. He was released after a nine-day ordeal.

Earlier, Maoists on Wednesday had freed kidnapped junior engineer Pabitra Majhi after seven days of captivity. The two men were abducted on February 16.

 Orissa High Court had granted bail to top Maoist leader Ganti Prasadam. His release was set as a condition by Naxals for the safe return of Krishna and Majhi.

22-year-old, Majhi was set free even as Maoist-chosen mediators and the Orissa government held discussions.

"Majhi was taken by local villagers on a motorcycle to Chitrakonda after being released by the Maoists in a remote forest in Malkangiri," Chitrakonda Tehsildar D Gopal Krishna said over phone.

After his release Majhi said the Maoists have promised to release Krishna, within ‘48 hours’ adding that the official was ‘fine and was treated well’. The Maoists kept their word by setting the Collector free just a day after releasing Majhi.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also told the Assembly that as per the commitment made by the mediators, Krishna would safely return by Thursday.

In a development which apparently had a bearing on the safety of the two hostages, the High Court granted bail to Prasadam on a bail bond of Rs 20,000 and two sureties.

Orissa DC released, Malkangiri Collector kidnapped, Maoists demands met, Orissa Home Secretary.

(JPN/Agencies)