Rebels push ahead three demands to free Paolo

Bhubaneswar: The government should fulfill three of the 13 major demands by the Maoists to facilitate the release of Italian national Paolo Bosusco held hostage since March 14 said Dandapani Mohanty, one of the two Maoist-nominated mediators, while talking to the media today.

The first demand pertained to action against police officials responsible for fake encounters and custodial deaths as directed by the High Court. The Maoists claimed that Lalit Dehuri, Pradip Majhi, Junesh Badraita and Katru Huika were victims of police excesses. The Maoists alleged that several persons were still incarcerated in jials on the basis of false cases snapped by the police despite being freed by the court. The government should immediately release 14 such persons including Subhashrre Dash alias Mili Panda, wife of Sabyasachi Panda, the mastermind behind the kidnaping of Paolo Bosusco. The governmnt should also expedite legal processes for the release of over 400 tribals lodged in several jails in Kandhamal, Gajapati, Keonjhar, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Sundergarh districts on charges of involvement in Maoist activities.

The third demand related to the the release of 16 persons including Arati Majhi, Susil Sai and Ashutosh Soren who have been booked under false charges. The Maoist mediators have furnished the list of 16 persons to the three government representatives. Dandapani Mohanty categorically stated that dialogues can be held later on on the ten other demands put forth by the Maoists.

However, the Maoist-appointed mediator Dandapani Mohanty warned that the government must restart dialogues by tomorrow evening failing which he would be compelled to walk out from the entire dialogue process for the release of the Italian national. He reiterated that the Maoists have not put forth any new demand and accused the three government representatives were providing wrong information to the Chief Minister to create confusion.