Bhubaneswar: Maoists released 12 employees of Odisha government’s water resource department in Malkangiri district today, two days after they were abducted and a day after Lok Sabha election was held in the area.
According to sources, the employees and the four motorboats were detained in Jantri and Sindhiput areas. While one motorboat was released early in the morning today, the three others were released later in the day. The released motorboats carried posters urging people to boycott the Lok Sabha election 2019.
Malkangiri’s superintendent of police Jagmohan Meena said the Maoists in Swabhiman Anchala had detained the operators of the four motor launches on 10 April back at Jantri ferry point, a day before the district went to polls. Malkangiri district with two assembly constituencies falls under Nabarangpur Lok Sabha constituency.
The water resource department’s Balimela earth dam division runs four motor launches to connect the over 25,000 people living in 151 villages of Swabhiman Anchala(erstwhile cut-off area) with the mainland Malkangiri. The area was cut off in the 1970s when vast tracts of forest land and villages were submerged by the reservoir of Balimela Hydropower Project in Chitrakonda area of Malkangiri.