Bhubaneswar: Indicating that it would not change its decision to withdraw cases and facilitate release of certain Maoists for freeing BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka, the Odisha government on Thursday said the Supreme Court has not stayed it.
"The Supreme Court has not put any stay on the state government`s decision of facilitating bail for jailed extremists ... Left wing extremists," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters on his return from New Delhi.
Stating that Supreme Court had sought response from the state government within 14 days on a petition seeking to restrain release of jailed Maoists in exchange for the kidnapped MLA, Chief Secretary B K Patnaik said "We are yet to receive the order from the supreme Court. We will respond after receiving the order."
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre and Odisha government on a petition seeking to restrain release of jailed Maoists in exchange for the MLA.
The state government has announced it would withdraw cases against 13 persons including five Maoists and facilitate release of 25 prisoners for Hikaka`s release.
Four persons have been granted bail and two are already out of jail, Home Secretary U N Behera said.
He said that Maoist-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) members and Maoists in jail were requested to file bail petitions in courts so that they could be released soon.
The tribal MLA from Laxmipur in Koraput district was abducted by the Maoists on March 24 with the kidnappers demanding freeing of 29 prisoners.
Two Italians kidnapped on March 14 by another group of Maoists had led the state government to announce facilitating release of five persons including top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda`s wife Subhsree Das.
Both the Italians were subsequently freed as also Panda`s wife.