Govt plans hostage policy for Naxals

New Delhi: The Centre is planning to seek the cooperation of states in formulating a national policy to deal with hostage crisis in the backdrop of Maoists taking hostages in Odisha and Chhattisgarh and Chief Minister Raman Singh demanding such a policy.

The Home Ministry is planning to write all states to put forward their views on formulating a hostage policy and Standard Operating Procedures to deal with any hostage situation, official sources said on Friday.

The necessity for such a move arose in view of the problems being faced by Odisha and Chhattisgarh governments following the abduction of an MLA and two Italians in Odisha and a District Collector in Chhattisgarh by the Naxals and subsequent demands of the rebels to release their jailed colleagues.

The hostage policy and the SOPs, if formulated after consultation with states, would suggest the states as well as central governments about how to deal such a crisis and if and how much should be yielded to fulfil the abductors` demands, sources said.

Earlier in the day, Chattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh pitched for a national hostage policy in which a swap deal is not an option even if involves abduction of the head of a government.