BHUBANESWAR/PHULBANI: As soon as the news of the abduction of two Italian nationals - Paolo Bosusco and Claudio Colangelo - broke on Sunday morning, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik convened an emergency meeting with Chief Secretary BK Patnaik, Home Secretary UN Behera and top police officers. The Crisis Management Team of the State also met to chalk out the next course of action.
The Special Operation Group, the anti-Naxal outfit of the State, was busy coordinating with its counterparts in the neighbouring states while seeking help from national agencies on the matter. Meanwhile, Consul General of Italian Embassy at Kolkata Joel Melchiori air-dashed to Bhubaneswar with a team to coordinate with the government to facilitate release of the hostages. Melchiori who was hopeful of the release of the two nationals also met the Chief Secretary as well as the Home Secretary later on Sunday. Behera informed Melchiori that the hostages are safe.
While the government expressed its intention to hold talks, there was no progress in the release of the abducted duo since the CPI(Maoist) did not announce any name of the negotiators prompting Dandapani Mohanty, president of Daman Pratirodh Manch, to urge the rebels not to take any hasty decision.