Bhubaneswar: Seeking a way forward in the
continuing hostage crisis, the Odisha government on Friday invited
the Maoist-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) for talks
stating that its demands were related to that of the ultras.
"The demands made by the abductors of Laxmipur MLA
Jhina Hikaka have come out in the media. As the demands seem
to relate to CMAS, the state is open for dialogue with the
members of the Sangh," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a
statement in the state assembly.
turned down a request by him to join negotiations and name
mediators for freeing 37-year-old Hikaka.
The CMAS has made it clear earlier that it had no
role in the abduction of Hikaka.
On Italian Paolo Bosusco being held by the Maoists,
the chief minister said that the state government had seen the
recent demands of the two negotiators nominated by ultras.
"Since these demands involve further examination, a
little more time is required by the state government," Patnaik
said making a fresh appeal to the Maoists to release both
Hikaka and Bosusco unharmed.
The chief minister`s statement coincided with the
deadline given by Maoist mediators B D Sharma and Dandapani
Mohanty for resumption of talks for the release of Bosusco.
A senior official hoped talks would resume soon and
that Maoist mediators would wait a little more time.
Mohanty and Sharma had wanted three of 13 demands of
the Maoists be met for the release of the Italian.