Odisha: Talks on Italian hostage crisis resume

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 14:12

Bhubaneswar: After a day`s break, talks resumed on Wednesday between the Odisha Government and Maoist negotiators for release of the Italian captive while the state Assembly
unanimously appealed to the kidnappers of BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka to free him.

The appeal comes a day before the deadline fixed by the
ultras expires.

Home Secretary U N Behera led a three-member team of
government representatives in the talks with Maoist-named
mediators B D Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty.

Fresh talks to resolve the Italian hostage crisis began
on Monday night after a threat from Secretary of Odisha State
Organising Committee of CPI (Maoist) Sabyasachi Panda, whose
organisation claimed to have abducted Paolo Bosusco on March
14, that the hostage might be harmed if any action was
launched.

"We may take the extreme step if the government launches
an offensive to release the hostage," Panda said in an audio
message released to the media, demanding immediate release of
seven jailed rebels, including his wife Subhashree Das alias
Mili Panda.

However, negotiations could not be held yesterday as one of the Maoist-nominated mediators was away from Bhubaneswar for a day, official sources said.
With a day left for the April 5 deadline set by the
abductors of the Laxmipur legislator, the Assembly adopted a
unanimous resolution appealing to the Maoists to release the
MLA immediately unharmed.

"This house expresses deep concern over the abduction of
the MLA by Maoists. We unanimously appeal to Maoists to
release the MLA immediately unharmed," the resolution moved by
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.
The resolution was adopted after Congress legislator
Dambarudhar Ulaka voiced concern about Hikaka`s fate as the
deadline set by Maoists ends tomorrow and there was no news on
the extension of the deadline despite the government`s appeal.

The government yesterday appealed to Hikaka`s abductors
to extend the April 5 deadline and invited Nachika Linga,
president of Maoist-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh for
negotiation, even as the rebels rejected the offer.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 14:12

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