Odisha MLA Jhina Hikaka, kidnapped by Maoists more than a month ago, was released on Thursday.
The Maoists released the 37-year-old tribal legislator of the ruling Biju Janata Dal on the outskirts of Balipeta village in Koraput district, as per the decision taken earlier by a people's court.
Mr. Hikaka was received by wife Kaushalya Majhi and Nihar Ranjan Patnaik, a Koraput lawyer, when he walked out of a nearby forest area, accompanied by a large number of locals and activists of the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS).
The Maoists did not come to face the media teams at a mango orchard near the village, along with Ms. Majhi and Mr. Patnaik, and returned to their hideout after handing over custody of Mr. Hikaka to the villagers.
Mr. Hikaka told journalists that the Maoists treated him well. “They gave me things to eat that they themselves ate. They took good care of me.”
Asked whether he would resign from his post, he said he would abide by the decision taken by the people's court organised by his abductors.
According to the Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of the CPI(Maoist), Mr. Hikaka had given a written undertaking in the people's court that he would resign from the Assembly and from the Biju Janata Dal to lead a normal life.
In the undertaking, Mr. Hikaka lamented that the State government had done little to secure his release.