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State confers with interlocutors

Prafulla Das
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Talks to resume today for release of two kidnapped Italians

The two mediators B. D. Sharma and Dandapani Mahanty addressing the press persons at the State guest house in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.—Photo: Ashoke Chakrabarty
The two mediators B. D. Sharma and Dandapani Mahanty addressing the press persons at the State guest house in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.—Photo: Ashoke Chakrabarty

The Odisha government on Thursday began talks with two interlocutors to ensure the safe release of the two Italian nationals who were kidnapped by the Maoists in Kandhamal district on March 14.

Though some of the demands of the Maoists were discussed, the talks remained inconclusive, and would resume on Friday afternoon.

The two interlocutors with whom three senior officials of the State government started talks to resolve the hostage crisis were B.D. Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty, both social activists.

The three officials who took part in the talks were Home Secretary U.N. Behera, Panchayati Raj Secretary P.K. Jena and ST & SC Development Secretary S.K. Sarangi.

Talking to The Hindu after the first round of talks, Mr. Mohanty said they suggested to the officials that the State government involve one of the three Maoist leaders, Narayan Sanyal, Amit Bagchi or Kobad Gandhi, who were lodged in different jails in the country, in facilitating the process of negotiation.

The officials told the interlocutors that they would make the government's stand clear on the issue on Friday, Mr. Mohanty said.

Meanwhile, the State Assembly appealed to the Left wing extremists to release the two abducted Italian nationals Paolo Bosusco and Claudio Colangelo from their custody.

A resolution in this regard was moved by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the same was passed unanimously by voice vote.

In another development, suspected Maoists gunned down a Sub-Inspector of the State police at Khairaput in Malkangiri district when the talks were in progress in Bhubaneswar.


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