Bhubaneswar: In a bid to resolve the hostage crisis which has entered its third- week, the talks between the Maoists and the Odisha government has finally resumed. Odisha Chief Minister Navin Patnaik has said the Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda has conveyed through his two mediators to release his six men lodged in jails. Government is considering to allow the release of five of them to end the crisis.

Speaking over the crisis, CM Patnaik said, “All the allegations are baseless. We are ready to hold talks with the mediators selected by the Maoists.” Notably, Panchayati Raj secretary PK Jena is now mediating the issue as Home Secretary U N Behera is busy with other assignments. 

It is pertinent to mention that Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda had on Friday through an audio CD had threatened to take the extreme step against the 54-year-old Italian hostage Paolo Bosusco if his demands were not met within 96 hours.

Meanwhile, after getting the audio CD from the Maoist leader, the state assembly witnessed commotion on the issue when the Opposition alleged that the entire episode was a ‘staged.’   

On the other hand, more than 5000 armed tribesmen staged a rally under the banner of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha, a pro-Maoist organisation, in the Narayanpatna block of the Koraput district demanded the release of all its fifteen workers who are presently lodged in jails. Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha is allegedly responsible for the abduction of BJD MLA Jinha Hikka.

(JPN/ Bureau)