Home Secy rejects Panda claim

Bhubaneswar: Reacting to top naxal leader and secretary of the Odisha State Organising Committee of the CPI(Maoist) Sabyasachi Panda’s Sunday audio message, Home Secretary UN Behera on Monday said that the government was in the process of fulfilling all the commitments it made for the release of two Italians and MLA Jhina Hikaka.

“Steps are being taken to free all four and 23 persons against the release of two Italians and MLA Jhina Hikaka respectively,” the official said adding there was no fresh case against Subhashree Das alias Mili Panda as alleged by Sabyasachi and the remaining two cases belonged to 2008. Of the six cases against Arati Majhi, she has been granted bail in two cases while rejected in three. “Arati can appeal in higher court for bail,” said Behera.

Similarly seven persons have been granted bail and equal numbers have been rejected in MLA Jhina Hikaka’s abduction case while eight are yet to appeal for bail. The government has once again appealed the Maoists to return to the mainstream and take advantages of the government’s rehabilitation schemes for the surrendered.

Meanwhile, Maoist sympathisers Dandapani Mohanty and B D Sharma in a letter on Monday alleged that the government was not showing interest to fulfill the promises made for the release of two Italians Claudio Colangelo and Paolo Bosusco, and Jhina Hikaka. They said while both the government and Maoists agreed on a ceasefire before the release, the paramilitary forces are still resorting to anti-rebel operations.