Bhubaneswar:  Seeking the intervention of Maoist-nominated mediators following a threat issued by Maoists to kill the Italian captor, Odisha government on Monday night resumed talks to end the 19-day long hostage crisis.

The mediators, who were preparing to leave the state capital this evening, were again invited to the state guest house where three negotiators from the state's side and two mediators representating  Maoists held talks, resuming the exercise after a two-day break.

"However, the talks will not be held tomorrow as I have to attend a programme at Jamshedpur," B D Sharma, one of the mediators said adding the talks could again resume on Wednesday.

However, the talks remained inconclusive and will resume on Wednesday.

"We have received demands made by Mr Sabyasachi Panda, the Secretary of the Odisha State Organising Committee of the CPI(Maoist). So, we wanted to verify it with the mediators," state Home Secretary U N Behera told reporters after holding a 90-minute discussion with the mediators.

The state governemnt promptly responded to Panda's statement in which he threatned to eliminate Paolo Basusco, the Italian national taken hostage, if there was any attempt to launch an offensive to release him.

"The state government will be responsible for the consequences if it launches any operation against Maoists," Panda said in the audio tape released to the media.

Alleging the state government was adopting a dilly dallying approach to their demands and also planning an operation to release the hostage, the top Maoist leader asked the government to take immediate steps to release seven persons, including his wife Subhasree Das alias Mili Panda.

Though the Maoists had on March 25 released Claudio Colangelo, Basusco continued to remain in the ultras' captivity. The duo were abducted from Kandhamal-Ganjam district border on March 14.

Besides his wife, Panda demanded the release of Arati Majhi, Kamala Kanta Sethi, Jonesh Pradhan, Sujatha, Suka Nachika and Gananath Patra.

Supporting Panda's charge, Maoist-nominated mediator Dandapani Mohanty accused the state government of preparing an offensive against the ultras though the negotiations are on.

"The government will harm itself if it starts any operation," Mohanty said adding they (government) have expedited intelligence network in Kandhamal and Ganjam districts and made telephone towers defunct in the area as preparations for an operation.

"It is a henious act on the part of the government to prepare for an offensive while discussion has not ended," Mohanty said.

Sharma also raised questions on the state government's "examination" on the Maoists' demands for last one week. He, however, expressed optimism about a peaceful solution to the hostage crisis.

Meanwhile, contradictory signals emanaged about the proposed negotiation with the Maoist-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) for the release of BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka due to diffrence of opinion among leaders.

Though CMAS President Nachika Linga, on the run since 2009, said the Sangh would join talks if certain conditions are fulfilled, some others associated with the tribal outfit
appeared to be reluctant.

Listing the conditions for joining talks for Hikaka's release, Linga said in a statement to the media that all cases against him would have to be withdrawn, all jailed CMAS members released and anti-Maoist operations halted.

Alleging 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 37-year-old Laxmipur MLA Hikaka, abducted on March 24.

(JPN/Agencies)