Italian hostage row deepens as Sabyasachi serves ultimatum

Bhubaneswar: Top naxal leader and Secretary of the Organising Committee of the state unit of CPI(Maoist), Sabyasachi Panda alias Sunil today accused that the state government was dilly-dallying to announce the names of the political prisoners to be released by the government in lieu of the release of the Italian national held hostage since March 14. The Maoist leader, mastermind behind the abductions of two Italian nationals, Paolo Bosusco and Claudio Colangelo said in an audio tape that the Maoists would be compelled to take the `extreme step` against the Italian hostage Paolo Bosusco if the government resorts to unnecessary delay in accepting the demands of the CPI(Maoist). Claudio Colangelo, however, has since been released by the Maoists.

Accusing the government of planning counter attacks against the Maoists, Sabyasachi warned that the consequences of such moves would be drastic and the government would be responsible for the repercussions. Sabyasachi however has reitertated his demands to release some prominent persons including Gananath Patra and his wife Subhashrre Dash alias Milli Panda. The naxal leader said that the government should first release those leaders who have been granted bails by the court and others who have been incarcerated in jails on cooked up charges. Sabyasachi said in the tape that the Maoists would not release Paolo unless the government submitted a written agreement.

In another development, the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh(CMAS) has refuted to take part in talks with the government to facilitate the release of Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka held hostage by the Andhra-Odisha-Border Special Zonal Committee of the CPI(Maoist) since March 24. The legal counsel of Nachika Linga, the President of the CMAS said that the sangh and its President had no relations with the CPI(Maoist) and hence it did not want to take part in the dialogues. The lawyer, Nihar Patnaik, however, said that CMAS might rethink about the future course of action if the government fulfilled its demands.