Odisha government considering release of rebels

Odisha govt said it was examining release of some rebels as demanded by Maoists and hoped the Italian hostage crisis would end soon.

Updated: Apr 01, 2012, 18:59 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Sunday said it
was examining release of some rebels as demanded by Maoists
and hoped the Italian hostage crisis would end soon, even as
the fate of abducted BJD MLA remained unknown with a rebel-
backed outfit yet to respond an invitation to join talks.

A day after the two Maoist mediators left giving time
for the state government to take a stand on the demands of the
ultras, a senior official said, "The whole issue including
conditions like release of jailed ultras is being examined."

As the Maoists have demanded release of about 40 rebels
from different jails, it would take some time to form a view
on the issue after thorough examination, he said adding, "We
are examining as to how the process can be initiated."

Expressing the hope that prospects appeared to have
brightened for the release of Paolo Bosusco, 54-year-old
Puri-based Italian tour operator, another official said the
abductors of the Italian are expected to honour the appeal
made by their mediators - B D Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty.

The two Maoist mediators left yesterday after 10 days
of talks stating that the Odisha government needed time, but
promised to be back when needed.

"The issues are complicated and the talks are yet to
yield result. Since the government needs more time to examine
the demands, we need not wait here. We are returning," they

"Whenever the government needs our assistance, we will
be back," the duo said, adding, "We appeal to Odisha State
Organising Committee of CPI (Maoist) to free the Italian,
abducted on March 14, on basic human considerations."

Meanwhile, there has been no information about the
fate of the tribal MLA from Laxmipur, Jhina Hikaka, who had
been abducted from Koraput on March 24.

Though chief minister Naveen Patnaik had invited
Maoist-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) to join talks
and name their negotiators for the release of the MLA, two
days ago, there was no response from the Sangha.

While Koraput-Srikalulam Division of Maoists, which
owned responsibility for abduction of the MLA, had refused to
have talks through mediators, CMAS had earlier claimed that it
had no role in the kidnapping.