Bhubaneswar: Odisha government, grappling
with the hostage crisis, on Tuesday said some demands made by
Maoists like halt to combing operations, have been cenceded as
prospects of the release of the lone Italian national seemed
to have brightened.
The state government has said there would be no coercive
action as long as Maoists did not indulge in violence, Chief
Minister Naveen Patnaik told the assembly while making a fresh
appeal for the the release of BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka kidnapped
by Maoists from Koraput district on March 24.
Referring to halt to combing operations as demanded by
Maoists, Patnaik, however, pointed out that a police
sub-inspector was gunned down in Malkangiri district and two
policemen were killed in a landmine blast in Koraput district
before Hikaka`s kidnap.
On the release of jailed Maoists, Patnaik said cases
against 83 activists of the ultra-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi
Sangha (CMAS) have been withdrawn.
Talks for the release of the second Italian in Maoist
captivity 54-year-old Puri-based tour operator Paulo Bosusco
are likely to bear fruit soon, he said.
The two Maoist-nominated negotiators, BD Sharma and
Dandapani Mohanty, also said a positive outcome is likely to
emerge very soon.
While the extremists freed Italian tourist Claudio
Colangelo as a "goodwill gesture" on Sunday, his compatriot
Bosusco is still in their captivity. The two were abducted in
Kandhamal district on March 14.