Bhubaneswar: Confusion prevailed over the release of BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka on Monday amid contradictory views in Maoist-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh even as abductors of an Italian toughened their stand for setting him free. (Agencies)
Though Sangh president Nachika Linga, on the run since 2009, said the tribal group would join talks if certain conditions were fulfilled, some others associated with it appeared to be reluctant.
Listing the conditions for joining talks for Hikaka's release, Linga, in a statement to media, said all cases against him would have to be withdrawn, all jailed CMAS members released and anti-Maoist operations halted.
Alleging that many CMAS members were in Koraput jail on 'false charges' for long, Linga said if the conditions were fulfilled, the Sangh would mediate for the release of the 37-year-old MLA from Laxmipur abducted on March 24.
After fulfilment of its demands, the CMAS would discuss the matter with tribal groups like Niyamgiri Surakshya Parishad, Mali Parbat Surakshya Parishad, Noka Dora and Konda Reddy before talks with government, he said.
However, Maoist mediator Dandapani Mohanty who along with B D Sharma held talks with government representatives for the release of Italian Paolo Bosusco, said since CMAS was not involved in the MLA's abduction, it cannot decide on his release.
If CMAS holds talks with the government, it would discuss "people's issues", Mohanty said claiming himself to be "co-advisor" of the Sangh.
On Linga's statement, chief secretary B K Patnaik said the government was trying to take a host of steps for the release of Hikaka and Bosusco and discussion with CMAS was one of the proposals.
"We have taken note of the statement by CMAS leader. It is being examined," another official said adding Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had invited CMAS for talks on Friday night as demands of MLA's abductors were related to the Sangh.
Meanwhile, abductors of Bosusco in an audio message to the media toughened their stand and took strong exception to the government taking long time to examine their demands.
Bhubaneswar: Confusion prevailed over the release of BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka on Monday amid contradictory views in Maoist-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh even as abductors of an Italian toughened their stand for setting him free.