In all likelihood, the kidnapped Odisha legislator Jhina Hikaka will walk free on Thursday after more than a month in a Maoist den.
This became clear on Wednesday when the abductors issued a communication to the media saying they would release the BJD MLA as per the decision taken at a “people's court.”
The decision was taken after he gave an undertaking at the “people's court” that he would try to get the demands of Maoists fulfilled and resign from his post if he failed to keep his word, the abductors said.
This was also confirmed by Nihar Ranjan Patnaik, a lawyer for Maoists, who said a senior leader of the Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) called him to inform him of the decision.
Mr. Patnaik is likely to be present along with Mr. Hikaka's wife, Kaushalya Majhi, when the Maoists release the tribal legislator at Balipeta village in Koraput district.
The Maoists, who had kidnapped Mr. Hikaka from Koraput district on March 24, demanded the release of 29 persons from jail, but the State government agreed to facilitate the release of 25 of them. However, none of them has been released so far.
Other demands such as a complete halt to the Operation Green Hunt and withdrawal of the security forces from tribal areas were not considered by the government.
No negotiations were held between the government and the Maoists for Mr. Hikaka's release as the rebels had refused to hold talks from the beginning.