BHUBANESWAR: In captivity of the Left Wing extremists (LWEs) for exactly a month, Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka’s fate remained uncertain with both sides adopting a who-will-blink-first strategy. The deadline to release the imprisoned Maoists and Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) members expires on Tuesday mid-night, but neither the State Government nor the CPI(Maoist) has showed any signs of resolving the crisis.
In fact, the Government continued to toe its old line and even said that the process of dropping charges against 13 Maoists will take more time. On the demand for release of 29 members, the Government has agreed to facilitate release of 25. So far, bail has been granted to five, but others have not moved their petitions despite the Government’s repeated requests to do so. Sources, however, said the delay in arriving at a decision on the part of the Maoists was caused by internal differences between the Maoists and the CMAS. “CMAS head Nachika Linga’s political aspirations seem to have come in the way of the release of the imprisoned since he has been seeking charges against him to be dropped. This has delayed the whole process and the reason behind the frequent extension of deadlines,” sources said. The theory that Hikaka may be asked to resign at the “praja court” stems from the fact that it will the pave the way for Linga and he will need criminal charges against him dropped for the purpose.
Meanwhile, there was no word from the CPI(Maoist) on the kangaroo court which is expected to be held on Wednesday. While there is a possibility of it being held at Bandhugaon, no clear picture has emerged. The fact that Maoists have cut off access to Narayanpatna by blocking the roads with felled trees was pointer to the fact that the rebels may hold the court to try Hikaka.
Amid all the confusion, the “protest week” to oppose Green Hunt started on Monday. Security was beefed up as there are apprehensions of violence during this period. Even though the Red rebels had assured not to indulge in violence, in the last one week, they have carried out at least three operations involving attacks on CISF, blasting a mobile tower and torching vehicles in Koraput.
With the deadline drawing close, Home Secretary U N Behera said the Government wants the prisoners to move their bail applications immediately.