Odisha Hostage Crisis
Odisha Hostage Crisis
Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday invited the Maoist-backed organisation, Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) for dialogue to free MLA Jhina Hikaka.

“As the demands of the rebels were similar to that of the CMAS, the State Government is open to dialogue with the Sangh members. Therefore, we invite the Sangh to nominate their representatives for talks,” Patnaik informed the State Assembly in the evening.

Meanwhile, talks to release of the Italian national Paolo Bosusco is hanging for the last two days. Patnaik on Friday said that his Government needs more time to examine the demands of the Maoists.

Patnaik informed that the Government has received the recent demands of the rebels through their two negotiators for the release of Italian Bosusco Paolo (54), who continues to be in the captivity of the rebels since March 14.

“Since these demands involve further examination, little more time is required by our State Government,” Patnaik told the Assembly.

Referring to Naveen’s statement, the maoist-nominated interlocutors B D Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty seemed to be worried over the attitude of the Government in delaying the talks.

It is noteworthy to mention that Mohanty had virtually threatened the Government to withdraw from the ongoing negotiation if the Government did not concede the short-listed demands out of the 13 points in response to the good will gesture shown in releasing Colangelo, who was freed on March 25. He had also warned that the Government would be held responsible for the consequences in the event of breaking up of the negotiations.

Mohanty on Thursday said the rebels may release the second Italian if the government fulfils at least three of the demands. The demands are release of about 20-25 people already declared innocent by courts but later booked on several false charges, implementation of court order to prosecute policemen responsible for custodial deaths and release tribals booked on false charges.

In the meanwhile, the State Government has not made any progress on getting the release of ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Jhina Hikaka who has been held hostage by another group of leftwing extremists in a hilly area of Koraput district since March 24.

The group which has claimed responsibility for the abduction of the legislator has made more or less the same 13 demands. They have refused to appoint any negotiator on their behalf.

Source: 360 NS