State still unclear about Jhina Hikaka fate

Bhubaneswar: The fate of Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka, who is in the captive of Maoists for nearly a month is still unclear though the government said that it has made all possible efforts to expedite the safe release of the tribal legislator. According to reports, Hikaka has been produced at a Praja Court (People`s Court) in a dense forest near Narayanpatna.

Earlier today, the government said that of the seven bail appellants, five prisoners have been granted bail while for two the matter is under consideration. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after returning from his Delhi tour has once again appealed the Maoists for the safe release of Jhina Hikaka.

Hearing a petition filed on Wednesday, which sought to restrain the release of jailed Maoists in exchange for captive BJD MLA, the Supreme Court today asked the Centre and the Odisha government to report in two weeks. A bench of justices involving T S Thakur and Gyan Sudha Mishra asked the respondents to file a reply within the given time.