Bhubaneswar: In the aftermath of the abduction and unharmed release of two Italians and a BJD MLA in Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday appealed to the Maoists, who are observing a Bharat bandh, to return to the mainstream and work for development.
"I appeal to my young brothers, sisters and children including girls to return to the mainstream. The law according to the Constitution should not be made law of the jungle," he said.
Noting that the Maoists were observing a bandh in different parts of the country including Odisha, Patnaik said the misguided youths should instead join development work like tribal welfare programmes and women`s empowerment schemes undertaken by the state government.
"We are proud that a quarter of the state`s population comprise tribals and therefore Odisha has a vast scheduled area. The youth should return to their homes in deprived areas and take up development activities, particularly my government`s policies in their villages," he said.
He said Odisha was home to 62 tribes and was proud to have a large population `adivasis`.
Patnaik`s statement came a day after Home Secretary U N Behera said that the government was determined to deal firmly with any attempt to disrupt public order and unlawful activities by Maoists.
Behera also mentioned that while the state government was committed to fulfilling the promises made during the hostage crisis involving two Italian tourists and a MLA, the ultras had killed four civilians and as many security personnel besides attacking mobile phone towers and targeting police personnel.