In a dramatic turn of events, the talks between the two mediators and officials of the Odisha government for the release of Italian tour operator Bosusco Paolo resumed on late on Monday evening.

Three officials of the State government met the two mediators, B.D. Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty, at the State Guest House here barely hours after the abductors of Mr. Paolo blamed the State government for adopting delaying tactics and planning an offensive against them.

The talks, however, would progress on Wednesday with a gap of a day as Dr. Sharma was to be away from the city on Tuesday, Mr. Mohanty told The Hindu.

In an audio tape released to the media, secretary of the Odisha State organising committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) Sabyasachi Panda said the government had not accepted any of their demands so far and that it continued to maintain that the demands were being examined.

Mr. Panda said the State government would be responsible if anything happened to Mr. Paolo.

The Maoists leader demanded a written agreement from the government on their demands.

Mr. Paolo had been kidnapped from Kandhamal district on March 14 along with Claudio Colangelo, an Italian tourist. However, Mr. Panda had released Mr. Colangelo on March 25 as a goodwill gesture.

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