BHUBANESWAR: Alleging that the Odisha government is indifferent towards the Italian hostage crisis, Maoist mediators today threatened to pull out of talks if no response is received on the demands of the rebels who said they are ready to release the foreigner if three of their 13 conditions are met.
The state government also suffered a setback in its effort to free abducted BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka as the Maoists turned down a fresh request by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to name their negotiators for talks to resolve the crisis.
"The state government is maintaining an indifferent attitude towards talks for the release of the Italian. We may say good bye to the process if the government does not respond by tomorrow evening," Maoist-nominated mediators B D Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty told reporters on the Italian issue.
The negotiation was suspended for the second time yesterday after the chief minister claimed to have received additional demands from the abductors of Puri-based Italian tour operator Paolo Bosusco.
"We have been negotiating with the state government for the last five days. But there had been no progress.
Finally we have sought intervention of the chief minister and he is now taking time," Sharma pointed out.
As 54-year-old Paolo Bosusco completed a fortnight in Maoist captivity since abduction from Kandhamal on March 14, Dandapani Mohanty asked the state government to fulfil at least three demands for the immediate release of the Italian.
The three demands are: assurance to initiate criminal action against police officials involved in fake encounter, custodial deal and rape, release of persons re-arrested by police after being acquitted in different cases and release of innocent persons booked on charge of Maoist activities.
"We have already informed Home Secretary U N Behera about three basic demands of Maoists for the release of Bosusco," Mohanty said.
"The ball is now in the government's court," he said.