Hostage row:Rays of hope after second negotiations

Bhubaneswar: The second phase of talks between the three government officials and the two representatives of the CPI(Maoist) for the safe release of the two Italians held hostage by the ultras since March 14 today ended inconclusively at the State Guest House and both the sides expressed hope that the talks would yeild results tomorrow.

"We have progressed in the right direction and moved ahead," said Home Secretary Upendra Nath Behera as he came out of the State Guest House after the parleys. Panchayatiraj Secretary P K Jena and SC/ST Welfare Secretary Santosh Sarangi were the two other government officials who participated in the negotiations. The two sides deliberated deeply over the 13 demands made by the CPI(Maoist) for the releqase of the two hostages. 

Both B D Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty, the two interlocutors chosen by the CPI(Maoist) categorically stated that there was no need to involve any third representative in the dialogues and the talks would continue on Saturday. "We hope some result would emerge by tomorrow evening," said B D Sharma. There were two rounds of discussions between the two sides.

After Thursday`s discussions, one of the representatives of the CPI(Maoist), Dandapani Mohanty had stated that the ultras had agreed to release one of the two Italians held captive if the government conceded two major demands of the Maoists out of the list of 13 demands.