Fate of BJD legislator Jhina Hikaka remains unknown

The Naveen Patnaik government was considering release of a top Maoist leader's wife and a few more rebels as demanded by the left-wing extremists to secure the release of Italian tour operator Bosusco Paolo, who had been abducted from Kandhamal district on March 14.

A decision to take necessary steps for the release of the rebels was expected to be taken in a day or two, official sources said on Sunday.

Among other things, top Maoist leader and secretary of Odisha State Organising Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) had demanded the release of his wife Subhashree Panda from jail.

The two mediators, who were holding talks with State government officials to facilitate the release of Mr. Paolo, had stopped the negotiation on Saturday as the government kept saying that it was examining the demands.

Negotiations for release of legislator yet to start

On the other hand, the fate of the ruling Biju Janata Dal legislator Jhina Hikaka, who had been abducted by a different camp of Maoists on March 24, remained unknown till Sunday.

The negotiations for his release have not started so far as the abductors had said they were not keen on talks.

The Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha, which was also invited by the government to mediate as the demands made by the abductors seemed to relate to theirs, said it had nothing to do with the Maoists.

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