Four CMAS members granted bail

Koraput/Malkangiri/Bhubaneswar: Four Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) members namely Walsi Wadeka, Nachika Suba, Wadeka Diba and Arigi Sirika were granted bail by the court today. The move is expected to expedite the release of abducted Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka who has been held in captivity by the Maoists for the last 25 days. The deadline set by Hikaka`s abductors ends today evening while the leader of the Maoist-backed Chasi Muklia Adivasi Sangh(CMAS) in an audio statement on Tuesday had urged the government to release 29 prisoners including Maoists and CMAS activists in exchange of the release of the 37-year-old tribal legislator.

In another development, Gajapati district and sessions court today reserved its order on the bail plea of Maoist leader Arati Majhi who applied her bail application for the second time on Monday following rejection of her bail plea by the court on April 12. According to reports, another CMAS member Mangaraj Durua has also filed his bail plea in the Malkangiri.

On Tuesday, the abducted MLA in a telephonic conversation with the lawyer of the Maoist-backed CMAS, made a fervent appeal to the government to take all possible steps to release him from the grip of the Maoists.

Meanwhile, the lawyer of the CMAS, Nihar Ranjan Patnaik today said that the Maoists could most likely decide their future course of action in the `praja court`(public hearing) and hoped that the ultras would in all likelihood not take the most extreme step after the government`s reaction to the demands raised by Jagabanadhu in the audio tape. However, Convenor of the Jana Adhikar Surakshya Manch and one of the two Maoist-named negotiators for the release of Italian national Paolo Bosusco, Dandapani Mohanty today demanded that the government should take immediate legal steps to withdraw cases against the members of the CMAS.