Bhubaneshwar, Mar 28 (ANI): Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has said government mediators appointed to negotiate the release of the abducted Italian tourist are also keen to negotiate for the release of abducted Biju Janata Dal MLA Jhina Hikaka.
Hikaka was kidnapped near Toyaput, by a large group of armed men, who stopped him as he was being driven through a hilly area some 500 kilometres from Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
Talking to media here, Patnaik said the government was ready to negotiate with the Maoists for the release of Hikaka and could use the three mediators already in talks with the ultras.
"As far as the Maoists in Koraput, who have kidnapped the young MLA, we are very ready to have negotiations with them. You know from the kidnap of the two Italians we have the state negotiators, namely the government of Orissa's home secretary, panchayati raj secretary and the SC (scheduled caste) and ST (scheduled tribe) secretary of the state government, who are ready, infact, totally ready now to negotiate with the Maoists who have kidnapped Shri Hikaka as well," Patnaik added.he kidnappers of Hikaka have warned that the life of the tribal MLA would be in danger if the government attempts to search or secure his release through a security operation.
The statement in Telugu listed demands, including halt to combing operation and release of several rebels and tribals lodged in jails in Koraput, Malkangiri and Berhampur. Refusing to hold talks through mediators on their demands for release of Hikaka, it asked the state government to make known its stand through media.
The communication bearing the name of the abducted legislator and demands of the ultras had been received late on Monday night. (ANI)
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Kalpataru BiswalMarch 29, 2012 at 4:26 PM