Bhubaneshwar: Retired IAS officer Dr BD Sharma who is amongst the two interlocutors between government and Naxalites on Friday said that both the Italian tourists who were taken hostage by the Naxalites are safe.

The negotiators also said that the Maoists would release one of the two hostages if the government accepts two of their 13 demands.

“Maoists want immediate release of Mili Panda, wife of Sabyasachi Panda, Gananath Patra and other Maoist leaders,” Negotiators told.

Both the mediators Dandapani Mohanty and BD Sharma on Friday held talks with three senior officials, Home Secretary UN Behera, Panchayati Raj Secretary PK Jena and Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe Development Department Secretary Santosh Sarangi representing the government.

However, the talks remained inconclusive

Emerging out of the meeting with government representatives, one of the mediators Mohanty said that Naxalites have demanded the release of over 302 inmates lodged in various jails in Odisha.

“According to the Naxalites, amongst 302 prisoners only 30 are Maoists and rest are innocent tribals,” Mohanty said.

The Italians Bosusco Paolo, 54, and Claudio Colangelo, 61 were allegedly abducted from the border of Ganjam and communally sensitive Kandhamal district on March 14.


The 13 demands the rebels have placed for their release include a ban on the visit of tourists to the tribal areas; halt on anti Maoist operations, and release of several prisoners.

JPN/Bureau