Solution to Italian hostage crisis possible soon



Bhubaneswar: Mediators for Maoists holding two Italians hostage since March 14 on Friday said that a solution to the problem was possible tomorrow and talks were taking time because of complex issues involved.

"Talks are progressing well and we hope to conclude the negotiations by tomorrow evening. We are hopeful that some positive solution will come out," social activist and former bureaucrat BD Sharma negotiating on behalf of the ultras told reporters after the second day of talks with government interlocutors.

"All 13 issues raised by the abductors were discussed threadbare as the three government negotiators showed a positive approach during talks," he said.

Sharma said the talks were taking time to yield results in view of the complexity of issues.

He and the other negotiator Danadapani Mohanty reiterated that the two Italians Paolo Bosusco and Claudio Colangelo, kidnapped from tribal-dominated Kandhamal district while trekking, were in good health, safe and unharmed.

Asked whether any of the hostages were released, both the Maoist negotiators said they had no information.

They also clarified that their suggestion of bringing one of the three jailed Maoist leaders, Narayan Sanyal, Amit Bagchi or Kobad Gandhi, lodged in jails at Giridih, Vishakhapatanam and Tihar to Bhubaneswar to monitor talks, was no longer on the agenda.

"Only the two of us will continue the talks on behalf of the Maoists," they said.

PTI