BHUBANESWAR: Unable to find any back channel contact with the Maoists holding BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka captive for last three weeks, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today visited Koraput in a desperate bid to explore ways to free the tribal legislator.
A day after curtains were drawn on the Italian hostage crisis with the release of Paolo Bosusco, the chief minister flew to Koraput and discussed with local leaders and officials various options to free the Laxmipur MLA.
"I held discussion with MLAs of undivided Koraput district and officials on the need to secure Hikaka's release," Patnaik said on his return from Koraput district, where the 37-year-old MLA was abducted by naxals on March 24.
"Besides MLA's hostage crisis, I also discussed various developmental issues, welfare programmes and problems of the area," Patnaik said, making a fresh appeal to the abductors to release Hikaka immediately and unharmed.
A group of Scheduled Caste people from Narayanpatna gave a memorandum to the chief minister alleging that they have been ousted from the area and sought justice.
The chief minister also met the family members of Hikaka at his house in Laxmipur who are in a state of anxiety since the abduction of the first-time MLA by Maoists of Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal committee (AOBSZC).
As the Maoists refused to hold negotiations to resolve the MLA issue through mediators, it has become difficult for the state government to achieve any breakthrough.
"Direct negotiations would have facilitated the process," Home Secretary U N Behera said adding no back channel contact with abductors has been established so far.