Will not file bail pleas, withdraw cases: Nachika

Bhubaneswar: Uncertainty resurfaced over the release of abducted Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka on April 18 today as the Maoists and their front group Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha refused to seek bail and asked the state government to withdraw cases against them.

“We will not file bail petitions in the court as the government may again arrest our members after MLA`s hostage crisis is over. The government should instead withdraw cases,” said CMAS president Nachika Linga after addressing a rally in Bandhugaon area in Koraput district.

The state government, which had already named 25 persons comprising 17 from CMAS and 8 members of the CPI (Maoist), was hopeful that they would apply for bail in order to get released from jail by 5 pm of April 18, the deadline set by the abductors of the MLA. “The state government will again advise for filing of bail petitions for 17 CMAS members and 8 Maoists immediately for quick release of the detainees,” said P K Jena, panchayati raj secretary, one of the three government negotiators.

While Jena said the government had no clear information on the number of persons who applied for bail today, Chief Secretary B K Patnaik claimed that four of the 25 people have so far submitted their bail applications. Sources, however, said that the four CMAS members had applied for bail prior to abduction of the MLA on March 24.

“According to my information, none from the 25 people have applied for bail so far. The state government has said it will facilitate release of 25 people,” CMAS and Maoist advocate Nihar Ranjan Patnaik said. Unless the state government takes steps to withdraw cases against the UTPs under section 321 of CrPC, they cannot be released, Patnaik said, adding he had already communicated this matter to the district collector and the DIG.

Stating that Maoists have already extended deadline four times, Patnaik felt this time they could take an extreme step if the demands are not met. Rejecting the advocate`s views, Koraput district collector J S Ramachandra said four of the 25 people have already sought bail and he was hopeful the rest would move petition by Wednesday.