‘Steps being taken to secure release of Italians’

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 19:55

New Delhi: India on Wednesday said necessary steps
was being taken to ensure early release of the two Italians
kidnapped by Maoists in Odisha and that the state government
has set up a Crisis Management Group (CMG) to deal with the
situation.

"We are in touch with the state government authorities
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has spoken to the Chief
Minister and requested him to make all efforts for the safe
release of the two Italian nationals," Foreign Secretary
Ranjan Mathai told reporters here.

He said Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has already
made an offer of negotiations with the captors apart from
making an appeal for the release of the two hostages.

Mathai said the Ministry has also been informed that the
state government has set up a CMG to deal with the situation.

"We are making all necessary efforts to ensure the safe
release of the two Italians," the Foreign Secretary said.

Paolo Bosusco, a 54-year-old tourist guide, and Claudio
Colangelo, a 61-year-old tourist from Rome, were abducted
on Wednesday last while trekking in the tribal-dominated
Kandhamal district, in the first case of foreigners being
kidnapped by Left wing extremists.

Mathai also noted that Patnaik has informed that there
was a general advisory for everyone not to go in that area.

The Maoists holding the Italians hostage have issued a
list of 13 demands which include a ban on tourists visiting
tribal areas, end of the government`s anti-rebel operations
and release of jailed Maoist leaders.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 19:55

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