Rebels likely to free Jhina Hikaka tomorrow

Koraput/Bhubaneswar: The kidnapped Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka is likely to be released tomorrow at 10 am by the rebel group at village Balipeta near Narayanpatna, Maoist leader Aruna told OTV over phone today morning.

Aruna said the praja court(peoples` court), held on April 23 and 24 decided to release the MLA in the naxal hotbed of Narayanpatna area of Koraput district. The court also discussed about the ongoing Operation Green Hunt and combing operation near Narayanpatna and the MLA`s role to stop anti-naxal operations by the security forces, she said.

Hikaka, who was abducted on March 24 in Koraput, "would be set free in the presence of his wife Kaushalya Majhi and Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) lawyer Nihar Patnaik" Aruna told OTV.

The 37-year-old first-time legislator would resign as MLA and would also resign from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) after his release, Aruna quoted the legislator as saying in the praja court.

Earlier while the Maoists had demanded release of 29 prisoners in exchange of the ruling BJD MLA`s release, the state government decided to facilitate release of 25 jailed people, including eight Maoists.