Naveen visits Koraput asks Maoists to release MLA

Last Updated: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 22:31

Bhubaneswar: Unable to find any back channel
contact with the Maoists holding BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka captive
for last three weeks, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik
on Friday visited Koraput in a desperate bid to explore ways to
free the tribal legislator.

A day after curtains were drawn on the Italian hostage
crisis with the release of Paolo Bosusco, the chief minister
flew to Koraput and discussed with local leaders and officials
various options to free the Laxmipur MLA.

"I held discussion with MLAs of undivided Koraput
district and officials on the need to secure Hikaka`s
release," Patnaik said on his return from Koraput district,
where the 37-year-old MLA was abducted by naxals on March 24.

"Besides MLA`s hostage crisis, I also discussed various
developmental issues, welfare programmes and problems of the
area," Patnaik said, making a fresh appeal to the abductors to
release Hikaka immediately and unharmed.

A group of Scheduled Caste people from Narayanpatna
gave a memorandum to the chief minister alleging that they
have been ousted from the area and sought justice.

The chief minister also met the family members of Hikaka
at his house in Laxmipur who are in a state of anxiety since
the abduction of the first-time MLA by Maoists of Andhra
Odisha Border Special Zonal committee (AOBSZC).

As the Maoists refused to hold negotiations to resolve
the MLA issue through mediators, it has become difficult for
the state government to achieve any breakthrough.

"Direct negotiations would have facilitated the
process," Home Secretary UN Behera said adding no back
channel contact with abductors has been established so far.

PTI



First Published: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 08:44

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