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Orissa kidnapping crisis: Interlocutors rule out further talks with Maoists

Bhubaneswar , Sat, 24 Mar 2012 ANI

Bhubaneswar, Mar.24 (ANI): The resolution of the kidnapping crisis in Orissa reached a dead end on Saturday with two Maoist negotiators-B D Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty, deciding to suspend all talks between the state government.

The Naxal negotiators said there was no hope for a resumption of talks as long as both parties continued with their "atrocities".

Addressing a press conference, the negotiators appealed to the Maoists to free all the three hostages, two Italian nationals and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Jhina Hikaka, on humanitarian grounds.

It must be noted that the third round of talks between the Maoists and the negotiators was slated to be held on Saturday afternoon, after two rounds of negotiations had failed in the past.

Earlier, on Tuesday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik decided to send two ministers for negotiating and securing Hikaka's release.

The chief minister also said that the negotiations with regard to two Italian hostages, who were abducted by the Maoists 11 days ago, would continue with Naxal interlocutors for their release.

The statement from Patnaik came after he chaired a high level meeting with all top police and government officials in the state. Meanwhile, there was uproar in the Orissa Assembly, which was later adjourned, over both the cases of abduction by the Maoists.

Patnaik also said that he had talked to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram over the issue.

BJD MLA Jay Panda has, meanwhile, termed the incidents as unfortunate and has assured that the government will take all actions to solve the issues.

He said, "The state government is taking it very seriously and all actions will be taken to solve these issues. From our side, we are ready to negotiate."

According to sources in the Union Home Ministry, the abduction of the MLA has come two days after the Minister of Home Affairs issued general alert to the Orissa government that Maoists might resort to tactical counter offensive and target politicians.

Sources in the state intelligence have said that the MLA was abducted by the Andhra Orissa Border Special Zonal committee, a Maoist group headed by Ramakrishnan and led by Daya in Koraput district.

The group is opposed to Sabyasachi Panda, who leads Maoists in Kandhamal and has abducted the two Italian tourists.

The Koraput police have, meanwhile, confirmed that the MLA's convoy was attacked by armed men while on his way home. They, however, did not confirm if the abductors were Maoists.

"There is no confirmation on who were the people who have taken away the MLA and what do they want. We only know that some people took him away from near Koraput. We do not know who the people were and what their demands are," said Koraput Superintendent of Police Avinash Kumar.

However, the MLA's driver has said that the abductors identified themselves as Maoists.

In posters put up by the Maoists after the MLA was abducted, they have demanded an end to 'Operation Green Hunt'.

Meanwhile, in the last nine days of the Italian hostage crisis in the state, the Maoists have reportedly killed two policemen in a blast in Koraput district and shot dead a sub inspector in Malkangiri district, despite Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda announcing a ceasefire.

In response, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had sent a tough message.

"For a peaceful atmosphere to facilitate negotiations, the Maoists should desist from continuous violence," Patnaik had said. (ANI with inputs)

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