BHUBANESWAR: Not satisfied with the response of the State Government to their demand to unconditionally release 29 prisoners for setting free abducted MLA Jhina Hikaka, the CPI(Maoist) on Wednesday announced that a decision on him will be taken in a “praja court.”
In a fresh audio tape, Maoist leader Aruna refused to extend the deadline of 5 pm (Wednesday) for the release of Hikaka and said they do not have faith in statements given by the Government. She said the fate of the MLA will now be decided by the “praja court.” The Maoist leader also did not say when the court will be held. Presumably, it will be held on Thursday. The time and venue will be decided later.
Criticising the Government for its lack of seriousness in initiating steps for the release of the MLA, the Maoist leader said the deadline had been extended four times in the past and there would be no further extension.
Meanwhile, the Government on Wednesday announced that steps will be taken for withdrawal of prosecution against 13 persons __ eight activists of the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) and five Maoists, if the MLA is released immediately and unharmed.
Home Secretary U N Behera told mediapersons here that the Government has agreed to facilitate the release of 17 CMAS activists and eight Maoists. In the meantime, seven CMAS activists have applied for bail, he said. Bail has been granted in the cases of Arugu Sirika and Roopana Huluka, the Home Secretary said, adding that Sirika has already come out of jail while Huluka will be released soon. In the cases of Dhana Hantala and Dora Hantala, bail has been granted and on production of surety, release orders will be issued.
Two cases are pending against Rabi Tadingi, Wadeka Diba and Nachika Suba. In one case, bail has been granted and in the other, bail petition is under process. It is hoped that bail petitions for the remaining persons will be filed soon so that their release can be facilitated, he said.
The Home Secretary said the Government has offered to consider withdrawal of prosecution in suitable cases if the Maoists release Hikaka forthwith. The response from their side is awaited and it is hoped that the Government announcement has reached the Maoists, he added.
The audio tape from the Maoists came shortly after the Chief Secretary hoped that the rebels would set free Hikaka as the Government was in the process of facilitating the release of prisoners, as demanded.
The Home Secretary renewed his appeal to the Andhra- Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) to release the MLA immediately, unhurt and in good health.