New Delhi: Entering its 18th day the ongoing hostage crisis in Odisha is posing a big trouble for the Naveen Patnaik government and the Centre. The talks for the release of the Italian national and a ruling party MLA ended on Saturday with the two mediators BD Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty expressing hope that the state government will consider the 13-point demand made by the rebels.

Bosuscu (54) and Claudio (61) were taken hostage on March 14 on the excuse that they were believed to have taken objectionable photographs of tribal women in Kandhamal-Ganjam border area.

If sources are to be believed, Maoists want the state government to stop all combing operations and initiate dialogue with them. The Maoists have demanded the state government to act on the 13-point charter of demands, which includes the release of its political prisoners and halting of Operation Greenhunt.

However, last Sunday, the rebels released Claudio in a good will gesture but Bosusco remained in the captivity of Maoists.

On the abduction of the MLA, Maoists have made a declaration that the he would be kept hostage until the demands for a halt to anti-Naxal operation are not met as promised by the government after the release of the then Malkangiri district collector in February, 2011.

On March 24, Maoists abducted Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka while he was returning home from Koraput district. The kidnapping of the MLA led to abrupt suspension of talks between Maoist negotiators and the state government.

Patnaik issues fresh appeal

Stating that several days have passed since abduction, Odisha Chief Minister issued a fresh appeal issued to the Maoists to release other hostages.

He is likely to open back channel talks with Maoists, two days after the fresh deadline given by Maoist for resumption of talks ended. Maoists have been insisting the government to fulfill 13 of their demands for the release of other hostages.

(JPN)