Chief Secretary talks to Hikaka 24 days after abduction

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar/Koraput: Twenty four days after the kidnapping of the Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka by Maoists, the government for the first time today established direct contact with the tribal legislator. Chief Secretary Bijay Patnaik had a telephonic conversation with the abducted Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka disclosed Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in New Delhi. Naveen said that the 37-year-old Hikaka safe in the custody of the Maoist abductors. Naveen claimed that the government was taking steps for early release of the BJD MLA.

Earlier in the day, the abducted MLA in another telephonic conversation with the lawyer of the Maoist-backed outfit, the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS), the legislator made a fervent appeal to the government to take all possible steps to release him from the grip of the Maoists.

On the other hand, the Maoists today released one more audio tape just one day ahead of the end of the deadline for freeing Hikaka. The tape was released by Maoist leader Aruna on behalf of Andhra-Odisha-Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) leader Jagabandhu. The Maoists have once again demanded the release of 29 prisoners in exchange of the release of Jhina Hikaka and asked the government to inform its decision at the earliest.