The possibility of an early release of Italian Paolo Bosusco from the Maoists' clutches faded on Friday with the extremists rejecting the Odisha government's swap offer.
In an audio message, secretary of the Odisha State Committee of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) Sabyasachi Panda threatened to take the extreme step, if the government failed to make a written commitment by Tuesday on the fulfilment of the various demands made by him.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday announced that the government would facilitate the release of four persons, including Mr. Panda's wife Subhashree Das alias Mili Panda, to secure the release of Mr. Paolo.
Among other things, Mr. Panda had demanded the release of seven persons, including Mili Panda, from different jails for the release of the Italian.
“Talks a farce”
In his message, the Maoist leader also criticised the government by terming the ongoing negotiations between the government officials and mediators, B.D. Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty a farce.
The 13 demands of Mr. Panda include a complete halt of “Operation Green Hunt” and withdrawal of the Central forces from the tribal regions of the State.
Meanwhile, the government was examining Mr. Panda's message, Chief Secretary B.K. Patnaik told journalists.
Uncertainty prevailed over the release of Biju Janata Dal legislator Jhina Hikaka as the group of Maoists who had taken him hostage did not respond to the government's offer to facilitate release of 23 persons to secure his release.
The 23 persons include 15 members of the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha and eight Maoists.
The names of these persons were announced by the Chief Minister on Thursday.