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MLA abduction: Govt awaiting mediators’ name

The Odisha government on Wednesday hoped Maoists would soon name their negotiators for talks for release of BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka.



Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Wednesday hoped Maoists would soon name their negotiators for talks for release of BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka, a day after it invited them for parleys, even as intervention of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was sought by mediators in the Italian captive`s case.

Though the abductors of the tribal legislator from Laxmipur refused to hold talks through mediators, the chief minister last night asked them to join the negotiation table to resolve the issue and name representatives quickly.

"We hope Maoists will announce the names of their negotiators soon so that the discussion for the release of 37-year-old Hikaka can start," a senior official said.

Though the ultras have placed a list of demands for the release of the BJD MLA, abducted from Koraput on March 24, it would be difficult to settle the complex issue without holding detailed discussion, he said.

"The rebels should understand that it is a highly sensitive issue which can be settled better through face-to- face talks. They should nominate their negotiators without further delay," another official said.

Meanwhile, the solution to the Italian hostage crisis has now moved to the chief minister`s territory with the Maoist mediators seeking his immediate intervention for the release from captivity of Puri-based tour operator Paolo Bosusco.

While the extremists freed 61-year-old Italian tourist Claudio Colangelo as a "goodwill gesture" last Sunday, his compatriot Bosusco is still in their captivity. The two were abducted in Kandhamal district on March 14.

Unable to find a way-forward on talks with government officials on the Italian hostage crisis, the two Maoist mediators, B D Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty, gave a memorandum to Patnaik last night.

"The memorandum, sent through government negotiators contains our views on different demands of Maoists. As there are some differences of opinion over the demands, we sought the chief minister`s intervention to resolve the issue," they said.

PTI

From Zee News

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