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Hostage crisis: Talks resume after Maoist threat

Bhubaneswar: Barely an hour after abductors of Italian national Paolo Bosusco released an audio tape threatening to take stringent action against the hostage, Odisha government and Maoist-nominated mediators tonight resumed negotiations over his release, official sources said. Talks will resume on Wednesday again as B D Sharma will be absent on Tuesday.

The government side is represented by Home Secretary U N Behera, SC-ST Secretary S K Sarengi and Panchayatiraj Secretary P K Jena, Maoists mediators Dandapani Mohanti and B D Sharma participated in the negotiations. Earlier in the evening, Odisha state organising committee of CPI (Maoist) Sabyasachi Panda released an audio tape demanding immediate release of seven Maoists from jail to facilitate the end of the 19-day hostage crisis involving the foreigner.

The Maoists had on March 25 released Claudio Colangelo, another Italian national. Cautioning the state government, Panda in the audio tape demanded immediate release of seven persons, including his wife Subhashree Das who is in jail for over a year.

The other persons whose release are demanded are Arati Majhi, Kamala Kanta Sethi, Jonesh Pradhan, Sujatha, Suka Nachika and Gananath Patra. "The state government is adopting a dillydallying approach to our demands and also planning an operation to release the hostage. The government will be responsible if something wrong happened to the Italian national," Panda said in the audio tape.

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