Bhubaneswar: Maoists on Tuesday extended the deadline for another 24 hours for release of the two Italian nationals, Bosusco Paolo (54) and Claudio Colangelo (61), whom they abducted seven days ago and have proposed the names of social activist Prafulla Samantray and B D Sharma as the two alternatives in place of Narayan Sanyal and Biswapriya Kanungo as negotiators to have dialogues with the Government, following Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s appeal to release the two abducted Italian nationals and replace two of the three negotiators.
Meanwhile, the Government has also announced the names of the three top level Government officials picked up for holding negotiations with the mediators appointed by the Maoists to end the hostage crisis. The mediators from the Government side include U N Behera, Principal Secretary, Home Department, P K Jena, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Panchayat Raj Department, S K Sarangi, ST & SC Commissioner-cum-Secretary, ST & SC Development Department.
The Government also claimed that the hostages are safe and unharmed. B K Patnaik, Chief Secretary, told media persons that the two hostages are safe.
However, social activist Prafulla Samantray has expressed his unwillingness to take part in the negotiations as a representative of the CPI(Maoist). Prafulla Samantray explained that the Maoists had not established any contact with him before announcing his name as an alternate negotiator.
It is noteworthy to mention that the Maoists on Monday had named Narayan Sanyal, a senior rebel leader lodged in the Giridih jail of Jharkhand, social activist Dandapani Mohanty and human rights activist Biswapriya Kanungo as the mediators. Mohanty and Kanungo belonged to Odisha.
However, Biswapriya Kanungo backed out on Tuesday and the State Government on Tuesday rejected the name of Narayan Sanyal as he has been convicted for life imprisonment in Chhattisgarh under sections 124 (a) and 120 (b) of IPC.