BHUBANESWAR: The Andhra Orissa Border Zonal Committee (AOBZC) of the CPI (Maoist) holding legislator Jhina Hikaka hostage, extended the deadline to April 10 and demanded the release of five more persons lodged in different jails.
In a fresh audio tape released on Saturday, a senior Maoist leader of the group said all the prisoners would have to be released without any condition. The five persons are, Cheda Bhusan alias Ghasi, Gananath Patro, Walsi Wadeka, Singa Nachika and Suna Pangi.
While Ghasi is a Maoist, the other four are activists of the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS). The Maoist leader maintained that Hikaka is in good condition and would be released after the government met their demands. “We will take the next step if our demands are not met by April 10,” the Maoist leader added.
Meanwhile, talks between the state government and the Maoist interlocutors for the release of Italian national Paolo Bosusco concluded on Saturday with a joint statement. Secretary of the Orissa State Organising Secretary of the CPI (Maoist) Sabyasachi Panda had given a deadline of 96 hours on Friday and threatened extreme measures if his demands were not met.
In his statement on the hostage crisis in the Assembly, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the Maoist appointed mediators have sought the release of six persons, Arati Majhi, Manmohan Pradhan, Suka Nachika, Chakra Tadingi, Bijay Tadingi and Subhashree Das. The state government has decided to facilitate the release of five persons out of the six persons, he said.
“I appeal again to the Orissa State Organising Committee of the CPI (Maoist) to release the Italian national Paolo Bosusco,” he said.