New Delhi, Apr 5 (ANI): A day after the Odisha Government bowed down before the Maoists demands for safe release of Biju Janata Dal MLA Jhina Hikaka and an Italian from the captivity of the ultras, Congress Party today said the Centre provided full assistance to various state government on such perplexed issues.
"Naxalism is a very serious issue and there is a need to fight against it in totality. The Central Government provides all assistance as asked by the various State Governments on this issue. Whatever happened in Odisha is unfortunate," said Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi.
"Foreigners were kidnapped and have not been released as yet, but the Central Government provides full assistance to the various State Governments on these issues," he added.
The Odisha Government had earlier on Wednesday bowed down to Maoist demands for securing the safe release of abducted Biju Janata Dal MLA Jhina Hikaka and an Italian from the captivity of the ultras.
"My government today decided to facilitate the release eight Left wing extremists, 15 members of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh for freeing MLA Jhina Hikaka," Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a statement in the state assembly on Wednesday.
"Similarly, the release of four others as demanded by Odisha State Organising Committee of CPI (Maoists) would also be facilitated for freeing Italian Paolo Bosusco," he added.
Patnaik had earlier urged Maoists to release the legislator and another Italian national. The repeated appeals to free the hostages were, however, rejected.
Boscusco Paolo was kidnapped along with fellow Italian named Clandio Colangilo. The latter was released by the Maoists last month after spending 11 days in captivity.
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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