Odisha hostage crisis: Some Maoists` demands met
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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 22:47
Bhubaneswar: Grappling with the twin hostage crises involving a BJD MLA and an Italian, the Odisha on Tuesday said some Maoist demands like halt to combing operations have been met as rebel mediators sought the chief minister's immediate intervention for the foreigner's release.

"The state government has said there would be no coercive action as long as Maoists did not indulge in violence," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told the assembly while making a fresh appeal for the release of MLA Jhina Hikaka kidnapped by Maoists from Koraput district on March 24.

On halt to combing operations as demanded by Maoists, Patnaik, however, pointed out that a police sub-inspector was gunned down in Malkangiri and two policemen were killed in a landmine blast in Koraput district before Hikaka's kidnap.

On the release of jailed Maoists, Patnaik said cases against 83 activists of the ultra-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) have been withdrawn.

Meanwhile, there was hitch in negotiations for the release of the second Italian, Puri-based tour operator Paolo Bosusco with the Maoist-nominated mediators seeking the chief minister's intervention to resolve the issue.

While the extremists freed Italian tourist Claudio Colangelo as a "goodwill gesture" on Sunday, his compatriot Bosusco is still in their captivity. The two were abducted in Kandhamal district on March 14.

Unable to find a a way forward on talks with government officials on the Italian hostage crisis, the two Maoist mediators gave a memorandum to Patnaik.

"The memorandum, sent through government negotiators contains our views on different demands of Maoists. As there are some difference of opinions over the demands, we sought the Chief Minister's intervention," Maoist mediators B D Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty told reporters after the day's discussions.


First Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 22:47

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