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Odisha govt. bends more; set to release 5 Maoists

Bhubaneswar, Sat, 07 Apr 2012 NI Wire

Bending more before the Maoists, Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha and Party President of Biju Janta Dal Saturday became ready to release five of seven Maoist leaders demanded by Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda.

Earlier, Maoist leader had rejected Patnaik's offer to release 27 naxals but asked to released his seven Maoist leaders arguing that government was backstabbing and refused any chance of releasing the Italian citizen.

Panda has also set the next deadline of 96 hours to the state government for swapping the prisoners.

Panda in a released audiotape has said, "We are not in a position to release the Italian national since the Government has not signed any agreement with the mediators despite talks to free the hostage."

Naveen Patnaik on the other hand has ruled out the allegation that decision of releasing naxal leaders were taken without taking in confidence to both the interlocutors BD Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty.

Patnaik has again appealed to Maoists to release both the detainees - Italian tour operator Paolo Basusco and BJD legislator Jhina Hikaka.

This is the second instance of the Odisha government succumbing to Maoist pressure and many experts say that bowing down to the Maoists is not just affecting the morale of the security forces, bit is also emboldening the Maoists and setting a bad precedent.

--With Agencies Input--

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