Talks resume to release Italian hostage

Bhubaneswar: The fourth round of talks between the government and the two Maoist-named mediators to facilitate the release of the Italian national Paolo Bosusco held hostage by the ultras since March resumed today after it was suspended suddenly on Saturday following the abduction of Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka in Koraput district. The Maoists had on Sunday released the other Italian hostage Claudio Colangelo.

The three government representatives, Home Secretary Upendra Nath Behera, the Panchayatiraj Secretary P K Jena and SC/ST Welfare Secretary Santosh Sarangi and the two Maoist-nominated mediators, B D Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty today deliberated on all the 13 demands put forth by the ultras for the release of the Italian national. However, details about the outcome of the negotiation were still awaited. Home Secretary Upendra Nath Behera said,"We are hopeful that the negotiations will be fruitful."

However, Dandapani Mohanty, one of the two negotiators appointed by the CPI(Maoist) categorically stated that there was no discussion held regarding the release of the abducted Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka. Dandapani Mohanty denied allegations about the involvement of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh in the kidnapping of the BJD MLA.