Bhubaneswar: Fresh talks were held Friday
between the Odisha government and the Maoist mediators, a day after the government named the 27 jailed people to be freed in return for the release of BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka and Italian
Paolo Bosusco taken hostage by two separate Naxal groups.
However, the abductors of 37-year-old Laxmipur MLA and
54-year-old Italian were yet to respond to the announcement of
the names of prisoners to be freed.
While the three-member state government team was led by
Home Secretary U N Behera, the two Maoist-nominated
negotiators were B D Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty.
The focus of discussion was to examine the names of
persons whose release from jails would be facilitated, while
12 other points in the 13-point charter of demands put forward
by the abductors of the Italian were also deliberated.
Though it was not immediately clear what transpired
during the talks, the need to speed up the process of the
Italian`s release was believed to have been emphasised by the
government side, sources said.
Sabyasachi Panda, Secretary of Odisha State Organising
Committee of CPI (Maoist), had in an audio message demanded
immediate release from jail of seven persons, including his
wife Subhashree Das alias Mili Panda for Bosusco`s release.
Subhashree`s name figures in the list of four persons
proposed to be freed for the release of Bosusco.
Meanwhile, there was no word from the Andhra Odisha
Border Special Zonal Committee of CPI (Maoist) which owned
responsibility for the abduction of Hikaka, though it had
extended the deadline for fulfilment of their demands till
tomorrow for the release the BJD MLA.
A Maoist leader telephoned a section of the media
yesterday, saying the deadline, which was to end last evening,
had been extended till the evening of April 7.