Maoists want to exchange abducted MLA with 30 prisoners

Maoists issued a fresh communication asking Jhina`s wife to reach a village in Koraput district on April 10 along with 30 prisoners to pave way for the legislator`s release.

Updated: Apr 08, 2012, 23:40 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: In a new twist to BJD MLA Jhina
Hikaka`s hostage crisis in Odisha, Maoists on Sunday purportedly
issued a fresh communication asking his wife to reach a
village in Koraput district on April 10 along with 30
prisoners to pave way for the legislator`s release.

The letter, released to a section of the media by Andhra
Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) of the Maoists,
asked Hikaka`s wife Kaushalya to reach Balipeta in Naxal-hit
Narayanpatna area.

The Maoists have asked her to reach the place along with
30 rebels, including 23 people whose release Odisha government
had decided to facilitate and seven more rebels.

The letter, bearing the name of a senior Maoist leader
and addressed to the media, said the MLA`s wife should also be
accompanied by the two Naxal-nominated mediators - B D Sharma
and Dandapani Mohanty - engaged in the Italian hostage crisis
and Koraput-based lawyer Nihar Patnaik.

One of the Maoist nominated mediators BD Sharma had
meanwhile left the state capital for Delhi.

The Maoists said they would hand over the abducted 37-
year-old Laxmipur MLA to them provided they do not bring along
any police or intelligence officials.

When contacted, Hikaka`s wife said she was not aware of
any communication from the abductors of his husband. "It must
have been sent to the media," she said, appealing to the
Maoists to release her husband unharmed and in good health.

The letter came a day after the Maoists in a message to
the media extended the deadline for fulfilment of their
demands till April 10. They had initially fixed April 5 as
deadline and then extended it till yesterday.

PTI