New Delhi: The anti-Naxal operations in
Odisha have come to a halt following abduction of two Italian
tourists by the Maoists who demanded suspension of offensive
against the extremists and release of some of their colleagues
besides placing other demands.
Home Ministry officials said after the abduction of the
two Italians, no combing operation has been carried out
against the Naxals as both the Central and state governments
wanted to go cautiously about the issue.
"However, no formal order has been given to the Central
paramilitary forces engaged in anti-Naxal operations as they
operate under the state government’s command. They are where
they should be," an official said.
The forces are still in their respective locations and
would not leave the area till the crisis is resolved.
According to a report reaching the Home Ministry, the
Maoists have demanded release of some of their colleagues
currently in different Odisha jails in return for the release
of the two Italians, apart from placing other demands,
including immediate halt to anti-Naxal operations.
"Though the Odisha government is in regular touch with
the Centre, the state government has not conveyed officially
to the Home Ministry on any of the demand of the Maoists, the
Two Italian tourists have been abducted in the
tribal-dominated Ganjam district bordering Kandhamal by
Maoists who demanded an immediate halt to operations against
them by security forces.
The Italian, Bosusco Paolo, functioning as a tour
operator in Puri and Claudio Colangelo, who were on a trekking
tour on the Ganjam-Kandhamal border, were abducted by Maoists