It is disappointing to see that the Odisha government has bowed down before Naxals. Ever since the hostage crisis emerged, Chief Minister Navin Patnaik has been pleading and making appeals to the Maoists to release the hostages sending across a message that the state government is not efficient enough to handle the situation. No matter how strongly Patnaik defends himself, the Chief Minister has no other option but to give in to the demands of the Maoists. As a matter of fact the weakness of the state government has been very well gauged by the Naxals. This became more evident when the Chief Minister announced the name of the prisoners to be released in exchange of the hostages in the state assembly. Ironically Navin Patnaik government was among those states opposing the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC.) Patnaik who vehemently opposed the NCTC should now explain his strategy to tackle the crisis. More so as the Odisha government facing a similar situation in the past have released Maoist prisoners. The state government should have realized it then that a similar situation could confront them anytime and that they should be ready to tackle it. But the government did nothing and kept sitting idle. This is the reason that after making two Italians hostage the Naxals abducted an MLA of the state.

There is no doubt that there is immense pressure on the state government to get the hostages released but that does not mean that they give in to every demand of the Naxals. However, this is exactly what the Navin Patnaik government has done. Seeing the government’s attitude, the Naxals in the future may carry on with their abduction trail. The attitude of the state government is sure to dent the moral of the security forces. The Centre has opposed the release of Maoists in exchange of the hostages but that will not solve the purpose as it is not only a state matter but affects the country at large. The Centre cannot shy away from its responsibility by saying that the states are not keen on solving the issue of Naxalism. The Centre and the state together have to find a solution to the problem.