Bhubaneswar, March 25 (IANS) Maoists Sunday released one of the two Italian hostages they had abducted March 14, an official said.
State Home Secretary U.N. Behera said the rebels released Claudio Colangelo. "His health is apparently fine," Behera told IANS. The government will continue efforts to secure the release of the other Italian, Bosusco Paolo, and a Biju Janata Dal legislator, he added.
Rebel leader Sabyasachi Panda, who is named as 'Sunil' handed over Claudio Colangelo, 61, to a selected group of media persons somewhere in Kandhamal district, one of the journalists said.
The Maoists released the Italian following "appeal from people and a cross-section of society".
The guerrillas abducted Paolo and Colangelo from a forested area on the border of state's Ganjam and Kandhamal district March 14.
On Saturday, the rebels kidnapped ruling BJD legislator and a popular tribal leader Jhina Hikaka, 37, in a hilly area of Koraput district.
The rebels have set 13 demands for the release of hostages including a ban on the visit of tourists to the tribal areas, halt to anti-Maoist operations, and release of several prisoners.
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