Bhubaneshwar, Apr 12 (ANI): Maoists on Thursday freed Italian hostage Paolo Bosusco after keeping him in captivity for 29 days.
External Affairs Minister S.M External Krishna thanked Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his personal intervention in getting the Italian hostages released.
Paolo Bosusco's release came a day after Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, in an audio message, said Paolo Bosusco would be released through a "democratic process".
Panda had also said that he had received a copy of the joint statement signed by the Odisha government and the Maoist-appointed mediators, which was one of the preconditions for the release of the Italian national.
Paolo was kidnapped along with fellow Italian named Clandio Colangilo. The Maoists released the latter last month after keeping him for 11 days in captivity. eanwhile, Maoists have refused to release abducted BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka unless 30 ultras are released.
Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of CPI (Maoists) said Hikaka would not be released unless 30 ultras, including Chenda Bhusanam alias Ghasid, are freed.
The three-page letter in Telugu warned that the tribal MLA will be produced before a 'Praja Court' to decide his fate if the Odisha government further delays the release of 30 ultras.
However, Odisha Home Secretary U N Behera, said that the state government has not received any fresh letter from the Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of CPI (Maoists).
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. (ANI)
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