CMAS asks Hikaka to resign from assembly

Koraput: A Maoist-backed outfit on Saturday asked abducted BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka to resign in protest against the alleged inaction of the state government to free him and said it had no information about his whereabouts.

Chasi Muliya Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) said "the legislator should resign from the membership of the assembly to protest against the failure of the state government to release him," Nachika Linga, President of CMAS said in a rare public appearance.

Addressing a meeting attended by a large number of supporters mostly tribals, Linga said CMAS had no information about the whereabouts of the MLA, abducted on March 24, nor was it in anyway involved in the hostage crisis.

The government should hold talks with the Maoists for the legislator`s release, he said and threatened `dire consequence` if `something wrong` happened to CMAS`s incarcerated advisor Ganannath Patra.

State government has failed to fulfill the demands of the Sangh (CMAS) which is fighting for betterment of tribals. As the MLA is a tribal, the government does not fulfill our demands, he said.

CMAS, he said, was fighting to get back land taken away by non-tribals, trying to make Koraput district a liquor- free zone and fighting against the prevailing bonded labour system. "The government should fulfill these demands."

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik earlier in the day appealed for immediate release of the 37 year-old Laxmipur MLA while the Moaist group holding him captive rejected the government`s offer to release 23 prisoners and extended the deadline for releasing Hikaka to April 10.