Expedite bail process for release of 23 prisoners: CMAS Lawyer

Bhubaneswar: The government pleader should approach the respective courts under Article 321 of the Indian Penal Code(IPC) in the best interest of the state to expedite the process for sanctions of bail to the 23 prisoners as demanded by the Maoists to facilitate the release of Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka. This was stated by the legal counsel of the Maoist-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh(CMAS) Nihar Patnaik. "Then only the respective courts could withdraw cases registered against the 23 prisoners," the lawyer added.

The tribal legislator of the ruling Biju Janata Dal has been held in captivity by the cadres of the Andhra-Odisha-Border Special Zonal Committee(AOBSZC) for the last 22 days since March 23 while the government once again on Friday made a fervent appeal to the rebels to free the MLA unhurt. The Home Secretary, Upendranath Behera said that the governmnt was taking steps to expedite the process for permission of bails to the 23 jailed members of the CPI(Maoist) and the CMAS and the local district administrations were consulting the lawyers of the CMAS and CPI(Maoist) in this connection. The Home Secretary however clarified that the government had not yet taken any decision regarding the release of five more prisoners demanded by the Maoists.