Koraput/ Bhubaneswar, Apr 2 (ANI): The Maoist-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) tribal group has agreed for talks with the Odisha Government for the safe release of abducted Biju Janata Dal MLA Jhina Hikaka provided certain conditions are fulfilled.
The latest developments come three days after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had invited the Maoist-backed tribal group to act as a mediator in the abduction case of Jhina Hikaka.
The President of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh, Nachika Linga Linga, said in a statement that all cases against him would have to be withdrawn, all jailed CMAS members released and anti-Maoist operations halted.
Linga, who has been on the run since 2009, alleged that many members of the CMAS tribal group were in Koraput jail on 'false charges' for a very long time.
He said if the conditions were fulfilled then his outfit would mediate for Hikaka's safe release.
Linga further said the CMAS would discuss the matter with tribal groups like Niyamgiri Surakshya Parishad, Mali Parbat Surakshya Parishad, Noka Dora and Konda Reddy before talks with government after fulfillment of its demands.
The state government, however, has not responded to Linga's conditions as per latest reports.
Naveen Patnaik had earlier urged Maoists to release the legislator and another Italian national who are still in rebel captivity.
"I appeal to the abductors of the young tribal MLA and also to the abductors of the Italian national to release these two persons immediately unharmed and in good health," said Patnaik.
Hikaka was kidnapped near Toyaput after a large group of armed men stopped him as he was being driven through a hilly area some 500 kilometres away from Bhubaneswar on March 24.
Hikaka''s kidnappers have warned that the life of the tribal MLA could be in danger if the government attempts to search or secure his release through a security operation. The statement in Telugu listed demands, including a halt to combing operations 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. (ANI)
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