New Delhi: Backing the Odisha government’s approach on talks with the Maoists for the safe release of an abducted Italian and a legislator, Home Minister P. Chidambaram Saturday said any decision on using force to rescue them will have to be taken by the State.
“There are two people in captivity, so the state government is right in appointing interlocutors to talk to the CPI-Maoists or any other group that may have abducted the persons,” the minister told reporters here.
Chidambaram tread cautiously on the use of any offensive against the abductors to rescue Italian Bosusco Paolo, 54, and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Jhina Hikaka.
“If you are suggesting that some action should be taken using security forces, that is not a matter to be discussed in the public. And that is a decision the state government has to take having regard to all the facts and circumstances. They are the best judge of that,” he said.
Alluding to his frequent conversations with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Chidambaram added that the home ministry officials have been in regular touch with the state government officials over the abduction issue.
“I have offered him (Patnaik) any assistance that he may require… The chief minister has acknowledged that his officers and Government of India officers are in constant touch with each other,” he said.
“They did not ask for any specific assistance. They of course have asked for sharing of any intelligence and as you know intelligence is being shared on daily basis and sometimes it has been shared more than once,” he stressed.
Paolo was abducted along with another Italian, Claudio Colangelo, 61, from a forested area on the border of Odisha’s Ganjam and Kandhamal district on March 14.
The rebels last Sunday released Colangelo in a ‘good will gesture’.
Hikaka was abducted from Koraput district March 24.