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Updated: April 20, 2012 23:30 IST

‘People's court' to take final decision on Hikaka's release, say Maoists

Prafulla Das
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Top: A file picture of kidnapped BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka with his family. Below: Home Secretary of Odiisha U.N. Behera (Centre) makes a statement about the ongoing negotiations with Maoists. File photo
PTI Top: A file picture of kidnapped BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka with his family. Below: Home Secretary of Odiisha U.N. Behera (Centre) makes a statement about the ongoing negotiations with Maoists. File photo

The Maoist abductors of Odisha legislator Jhina Hikaka on Friday said they would organise a people's court on April 25 to take a final decision on his release.

Mr. Hikaka would be released only if the people's court takes a decision to this effect, the Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of the outlawed Communist Party of India(Maoist) said.

In a communication issued to the media in Koraput, the Maoists rejected the Naveen Patnaik government's decision to withdraw cases against 13 persons.

The Maoists demanded that the government should accept their demand for withdrawal of cases against 29 persons and not 13 as it had decided in order to ensure the release of Mr. Hikaka.

The 29 persons include 25 whose release the government had earlier agreed to facilitate, and four others whose release the Maoists had demanded at a later stage. The four include Gananath Patra, advisor to the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS).

The Maoists issued the statement soon after a section of the media reported in the morning that Mr. Hikaka had been released, according to Nihar Ranjan Patnaik, counsel for several Maoists and many activists of the CMAS.

Mr. Patnaik, who received a phone call from the Maoists, told The Hindu that the Maoists requested him to reach the people's court on April 25 along with the legislator's wife Kaushalya Majhi.

The abductors also clarified that they had not organised people's court on Thursday, Mr. Patnaik said.

However, police sources said that the Maoists had organised a people's court on Thursday but had failed to take a final decision about releasing the tribal legislator.

Meanwhile, Narayanpatna area of Koraput district remained cut off from all sides as the Maoists had blocked all roads by felling trees since Thursday night to enforce a day-long bandh in the locality during the day.

Mr. Hikaka, who represents Laxmipur Assembly seat in the State, was kidnapped by the Maoists from Koraput district on March 24.

Nobody should be released. Our cops die like cattle and these Maoists
get away with cowardly acts of kidnapping.

from:  Raja
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 15:07 IST

This only betrays India's inability to act in the face of Maoist violence. We have no credible, actionable policy with which to deal with them effectively and make them pay for the reign of terror they run in the junglemahal as has been evident in the case of recent abduction by them of two Italians and subsequently this legislator. We meekly capitulated to all their unjustifiable demands and this is what we have: the legislator being presented to the "people's court" that will decide his fate. Sensing our nervousness, the Maoists went on changing the goal post and we stood by as mute spectators. The government of India and Orissa must wake up now and realize that the policy of subservience with the Maoists does not work and we should brace ourselves to take follow up actions by using force. It is humiliating on our part to await for the verdict of the Maoist's Kangaroo court pleading helplessness and doing nothing apart from kowtowing to the terrorists.

from:  Mukul Kanti Dutta
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 12:42 IST
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