Odisha SunTimes Bureau
Malkangiri, Apr 16:
The fear of the unknown reigns in the villages of Kartanpalli, Barha, Sanaguma and Luneru in Kartanpalli panchayat under Mathili police limits in Odisha’s Malkangiri district a day after suspected Maoists abducted 13 people, including the former block chairman of Mathili, from these villages.
While family members of some abducted villagers have deserted their villages after locking their homes for safer places in fear of the Reds, some are waiting for the return of their loved ones from the captivity of the Maoists.
They have appealed to the Maoists through the visiting television news crew for the safe return of their loved ones.
At the time of abduction, the Reds had apparently told the family members that they would be sending these people back by 9.30 AM on Tuesday after holding a meeting.
“The Maoists had promised us they would release my husband on Tuesday morning after a meeting, but he is yet to return,” said Manjulata, the wife of Trinath Bhumia.
Family members are clueless about the whereabouts of their loved ones as the deadline for their return as promised by the abductors has expired.
While Inspector General (IG) of Police YK Jethwa has said that police have kept a watch on the situation, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in Bhubaneswar on his return from New Delhi on Wednesday that police have been working hard to track them.
Family members of the 13 persons abducted on Monday night, are a worried lot with policemen yet to visit their homes even after they informed the local police station about the incident.
Octogenarian Tanduku Bhumia, the father of Trinath Bhumia, the abducted former block chairman of Mathili, said: “I do not know whether my son is alive or dead. The Maoists picked him up from our house on Monday night. Though we have informed the incident to the police station, no policeman has visited our place yet.”
Like Tandaku, the family members of others who have been abducted are spending sleepless nights.
Strangely though, the Malkangiri district police was tight-lipped on the matter.