CM briefs Chidambaram on Hikaka abduction

New Delhi: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today called up Home Minister P Chidambaram and briefed him about the situation arising out of the kidnapping of Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka and two Italians by left wing extremists.

During their telephonic talk, the Home Minister Chidambaram reportedly asked the Chief Minister whether he needed any assistance from the Centre to deal with the situation. However, sources said, Patnaik did not seek any help.

Chief Secretary B K Patnaik also called up Union Home Secretary R K Singh to brief him about the prevailing situation in the state.

Official sources said the elite National Security Guard Commandos have been kept on standby and may be rushed to Odisha at a short notice to assist the state security forces to rescue the kidnapped persons.

Maoists abducted Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka from Koraput district early today. The abduction came 10 days after the Maoists took two Italians hostage from Kandhamal district on March 14 and talks were on between rebel-nominated negotiators and government representatives to resolve the crisis.