BHUBANESWAR: The Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) of the CPI (Maoist), holding Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka hostage, has said even though it is dropping the demand for release of Cheda Bhushanam alias Ghasi, 29 other prisoners should be set free unconditionally in exchange for the legislator’s release.
In his latest press note, spokesman of the AOBSZC Jagabandhu criticised the State Government for complicating the issue in the name of Bhushanam. ‘’The State Government is indulging in a slander campaign saying that Bhushanam is a hardcore Maoist who killed many policemen and other security personnel,’’ it said.
Stating that the Maoists are dropping the demand for the release of Bhushanam from the swap deal for Hikaka, Jagabandhu said the Government has to release four Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) leaders __ Gananath Patra, Sunna Pangi, Singa Nachika and Walsi Sadika __ along with the 25 whom the Government had earlier agreed to free.
Altogether 29 persons should be freed unconditionally, the Maoist leader said and added it is not the responsibility of the Maoists to move bail petitions and find sureties. The Government has to do all these formalities, he added.
Stating that the deadline is being extended for the last time to 5 pm on April 18, Jagabandhu warned that if the Government doesn’t hand over the above-mentioned 29 persons or it maintains silence, it has to bear the consequences.
The press note maintained that except Arjun and Sunita, the rest 27 persons are CMAS members and ordinary citizens whom the State Government had earlier agreed to free. ‘’This is just a reminder to the Government,’’ it said.
“The Government’s ambivalent attitude is evident from inviting Nachika Linga for talks while mentioning him in the most-wanted list and putting behind bars 70-year-old Gananath Patra,” the press note added.
Criticising Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s visit to Laxmipur on Saturday, Jagabandhu said he is not bothered about hundreds of innocent tribals languishing in jails for no fault of theirs.