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Orissa hostage crisis: Govt., Maoists to resume talks

Bhubaneswar, Mon, 26 Mar 2012 ANI
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Bhubaneswar, Mar.26 (ANI): The Orissa Government and the rebel Maoists are likely to hold another round of talks to end the hostage crisis in the state.

The decision to resume talks comes a day after one of the Italian hostages-Claudio Colangelo was released.

The talks are expected to focus on securing the release of the second Italian hostage Paulo Bosusco.

Colangelo was in captivity for about a fortnight.

Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda defended the Italians' abduction, saying that the government must refrain from treating the ultras and tribals as monkeys.

He also urged the government to stop tribal tourism.

Meanwhile, the Maoists have reportedly scaled down their demands to two from 13.

Panda has demanded that five Maoist leaders including his wife, Subhashree Panda, be released and actions be taken against police officers who are charged with rape, custodial deaths and violence against tribals and villagers.

Another Maoist leader - Mohanty - said no demand from the government has come for the release of Biju Janata Dal MLA Jina Hikaka.

Mohanty said that the Naxal group that has abducted Hikaka might send their demands by Monday night.

Condemning Hikara's abduction, Panda said, "We condemn the Maoist violence in the Andhra Pradesh-Orissa border region. There was no reason to abduct the MLA when the talks between the Naxals and the government were going on in a cordial manner."

There was a ruckus in the state assembly on Monday after the opposition demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the hostage crisis. (ANI)

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