Italian hostages: Negotiator doubts govt`s sincerity

A day after the Maoists named three negotiators to talk to the government on the Italian hostage crisis, one of them showed reluctance to join.

Updated: Mar 20, 2012, 16:21 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: A day after the Maoists named
three negotiators to talk to the Odisha government on the
Italian hostage crisis, one of them showed reluctance to join
the process on Tuesday voicing doubts over sincerity of the
administration towards meeting the 13 demands of the ultras.

Civil rights activist and lawyer Biswapriya Kanungo, one
of the negotiators, said, "Past experience shows the state
government has failed to keep its word. It will be pointless
to be part of talks if the government backtracks later."

Apart from Kanungo, the Maoists had last night nominated
Narayan Sanyal, politburo member of the CPI (Maoist) currently
lodged in Giridih jail, and civil rights activist Dandapani
Mohanty as their representatives to hold talks with the
government to end the six-day hostage crisis.

Kanungo said he was reluctant to act as interlocutor
because the mediators who negotiated during abduction of the
then Malkangiri collector last year had accused the government
of failing to implement the demands it had accepted.

Moreover, no one had consulted me before nominating me
as a nogiation, he said.

Besides naming the negotiators, the Maoists announced a
ceasefire and set a fresh deadline till this evening for
acceptance of 13 demands including withdrawal of cases against
the ultras and release of some rebels.

The move came in response to the Odisha government`s
offer for talks to end the crisis.

The names of the negotiators chosen by Maoists had been
conveyed through the media and now the state government`s
response was awaited, Mohanty, convenor of Jana Adhikar Manch,
said.

On the state government`s response, a senior official
said the matter was being examined and a clear picture would
emerge very soon.

The development was seen as a positive sign towards
resolution of the crisis.

Puri-based tour operator Paolo Bosusco and Italian
tourist Claudio Colangelo were abducted while trekking in
Kandhamal on March 14.

PTI