Though the abductors of Odisha legislator Jhina Hikaka had announced that they would produce him before a people's court on Wednesday, there was no information about his possible release till Tuesday evening.
The legislator, who belongs to the ruling Biju Janata Dal, was kidnapped from Koraput district by the Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) on March 24.
Mr. Hikaka's release is being delayed primarily because there has been no negotiation, with the Maoists refusing to name anyone to act as interlocutor as they had done in the kidnapping of Malkangiri Collector R. Vineel Krishna last year or the recent abduction of two Italian citizens — Claudio Colangelo and Bosusco Paolo.
According to sources, the Maoists may organise the people's court, but a final decision for releasing Mr. Hikaka may not be taken as none of the 25 persons, whose release the State government promised to facilitate, have come out of jail so far. Further, the government has not accepted the demand of the Maoists for the release of four more persons, including Gananath Patra, advisor of the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha, an outfit of the tribal people fighting for land rights for the past several years.
Interestingly, the State government had agreed to fulfil as many as 14 demands put forth by the Maoists in order to ensure the release of Mr. Krishna. But only one demand had been fulfilled leading to the release of five persons from jail, according to Dandapani Mohanty, convenor of Jan Adhikar Manch, who acted as one of the mediators for the release of Mr. Krishna as well as the two Italian citizens.