Bhubaneswar: As the deadline set by the two Maoist groups in the twin hostage crisis ended on Tuesday, the government seemed to have toughened its stand on the new Maoist demands and the fate of the hostages held captive by the two Maoist groups still remains uncertain.
Three officials representing the Government side namely Home Secretary U N Behera, SC/ST Secretary S K Sarangi and Panchayatiraj Secretary P K Jena, took part in the dialogues with the two Maoist-backed negotiators.
Home Secretary U N Behera, in a joint press conference in the state capital said that “action will be taken within the framework of law” to facilitate the release of 27 detainees of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh(CMAS) and CPI(Maoist) as announced by the Chief Minister. The government had announced to facilitate the release of the 27 detainees to secure the twin release of Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka and Italian tour operator Paolo Bosusco held hostage by two separate factions of the CPI(Maoist). The state government have not received any further communication from either the Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee(AOBSZC) or the Odisha State Organising Committee of the CPI(Maoist).”
Further the Chief Minister and the three officials, once again appealed to the abductors of Jhina Hikaka and Paolo Bosusco to release them immediately, unhurt and in good health.
It is noteworthy to mention that in a press note the AOBSZC, had asked the wife of the abducted MLA to reach a village in Koraput district along with the two Maoist backed mediators, Dandapani Mohanty and B D Sharma and advocate Nihar Patnaik and 30 prisoners to pave way for the legislator’s release, who is being held hostage since March 24. But the Government, however sticking to its swap deal that it had announced earlier had advised the Maoist group to take steps for filing bail petitions on behalf of 23 prisoners that it had agreed to release.