Bhubaneswar: One of the two Italians taken hostage by the Maoists, tourist Claudio Colangelo, was on Sunday released safe and unharmed by the ultras and handed over to mediapersons in Kandhamal district from where he was abducted on March 14.

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"We have information that Colangelo was handed over to mediapersons by the Maoists in Tanjingia area near Daringbadi. They are now proceeding toward Daringbadi," Kandhamal Superintendent of Police J N Pankaj said.

Home Secretary U N Behera said 61-year-old Colangelo called him up and spoke to him soon after being released by the Naxals.

"Colangelo told me that he was set free and that he was in good health and unharmed," Behera said.

The other Italian, Puri-based tour operator Paolo Basusco, 54, was still being held captive by the Maoists, the home secretary said.

Colangelo told mediapersons shortly after his release, "I would like to call my wife as soon as possible."

He said, "They have treated us the best they could. I don't want to get into politics. I leave it to the professionals."

He said he and Basusco were bathing in a river when four persons came and seized them. "I would like to call my family rather than passing a message," he said.