Bhubaneswar, April 20 (IANS) Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Jhina Hikaka, who was kidnapped over three weeks ago, will be tried in a people's court on April 25, said a message from the Maoists Friday.
A rebel leader calling herself Aruna announced this in a fresh audio message received by TV channels here. She said the Praja court, or people's court, has not yet been conducted, contrary to some reports.
Accusing the government of not taking decisions on their demands and taking too long, she said: "We will also take our own time to convene the Praja court." She said Hikaka, who had been kidnapped March 24, was safe and in good health.
An expert who did not wish to be named believes it is unlikely the rebels will kill the 37-year-old legislator from Laxmipur constituency as he is a tribal and has a tribal support base, but feels they may ask him to resign from the assembly.
"They may also place some other demands," he told IANS.
Hikaka was abducted by the Andhra-Odisha border special zonal committee of the Communist Party of India-Maoist from the district of Koraput March 24.
The rebels were demanding the release of 29 people in exchange for his release but the government few days ago announced that only 13 would be freed.
However, the guerillas rejected the offer and announced that his fate would be decided in a kangaroo court.
The state government Thursday said a total of seven detainees have already filed their bail petitions and four of them have already got bail. It also said two more detainees are also likely to be released soon.
The rebels, however, rejected the offer once again and said the government was not serious about releasing the 29 people named by them.
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