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Orissa CM Patnaik presides over emergency meeting on Maoist hostage crisis

Bhubaneswar, Sun, 25 Mar 2012 ANI

Bhubaneswar, Mar.25 (ANI): Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday was presiding over an emergency meeting on the ongoing hostage crises in the state.

Sunday marked the twelfth day since two Italian nationals were abducted by Maoists in Kandhamal district.

The Maoists have put forward a 13-point demand in exchange for the release of the duo. The state government is yet to accept any of these demands.

The state government is also dealing with the kidnapping of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Jhina Hikaka. Hikaka was kidnapped on Saturday.

The kidnapping episodes have taken a turn for the worse with Maoist mediators suspending talks with the government citing "atrocities by both parties".

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, the negotiators, BD Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty, appealed to the Maoists to free the three hostages, including the BJD MLA, Jhina Hikaka, on humanitarian grounds.

Their decision came after the collapse of the third round of talks between the Maoists and the negotiators.Two previous rounds of negotiations had failed in the past.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Patnaik sent two government 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.

Meanwhile, Italy has expressed its concern over the continuing delay in the issue. (ANI)

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