Bhubaneswar: Bowing down to Maoists demands, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said that the government would facilitate the release of 27 persons, including 8 Maoists, from jails in return for securing the freedom of an MLA and an Italian taken hostage by two separate groups of Naxals. (Agencies)
However, the truce finally left Maoist mediators unhappy as they wanted to know about the 12 other demands and names of those to be freed.
While making the announcement in the state assembly, the Chief Minister said, “Considering the safety of Hikaka, it has been decided by the state government to facilitate the release of 15 members of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha and also eight Left Wing Extremists in jails in Koraput and Malkangiri.”
Considering the demands of the Odisha State Organising Committee of CPI (Maoists) for Italian national Paolo Bosusco, who was abducted in Kandhamal district on March 14, it was decided to facilitate the release of four persons from the list given by the Maoist mediators, he said.
The names of all those to be released would be announced on Thursday, Patnaik said with an appeal to Maoists to release Hikaka, who was abducted in Koraput district, and Bosusco immediately, unharmed and in good health.
Maoist mediators B D Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty, however, appeared disappointed over the manner in which the announcement was made in the assembly.
"Besides the figure, we don't know anything. We don't know the names of the persons being released. We are neither happy nor sad. It is a mixed situation for us," said Sharma, after state government representatives led by Home Secretary U N Behera apprised them about the government's decision.
"We had placed a 13-point charter of demands on behalf of the Maoists. What about the other demands?" Sharma and Mohanty said. "We don't think there is any task left for us."
The Chief Minister said the government made efforts for securing the release of the two hostages held by two separate groups of Maoists and its repeated appeals to free them were rejected.
The decision of the government came a day ahead of the deadline of April 5 fixed by the kidnappers of 37-year-old Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka who kidnapped on March 24.
Bhubaneswar: Bowing down to Maoists demands, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said that the government would facilitate the release of 27 persons, including 8 Maoists, from jails in return for securing the freedom of an MLA and an Italian taken hostage by two separate groups of Naxals.