April 3rd, 2012
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Maoists talk tough, April 5th deadline for government

orissa-mlaBhubaneswar: The Maoists who abducted Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Jhina Hikaka issued a fresh audio statement and set April 5, 2012 as the deadline for fulfillment of their demands. They have been talking tough. They have rejected the Odisha government’s invitation for talks.

In an audio message to a section of media, Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of Maoists said,”We will release the MLA in our custody if the false cases slapped against members and leaders of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) in Koraput and Malkangiri districts are withdrawn and they are released. This demand must be met by the 5th of April. We assure the government, our friends will not cause any law and order situation once they are released. We hope the government will treat this with sympathy. There have been proposals for appointment of mediators. We have already made it clear we will not involve any mediators. We condemn the delay caused by the government’s insistence on mediators.

It is the responsibility of the Naveen government to release our friends from jail and secure the release of their MLA. Our deadline ends on 5th April.” The demands should be met by the set deadline without any “delaying tactics,” they said. Maoists abducted Jhina Hikaka an MLA from Laxmipur of Odisha ‘s ruling party Biju Janata Dal in Koraput district on March 24, 2012. Superintendent of Police Avinash Kumar said, 50 armed rebels stopped the vehicle of Jhina Hikaka while returning home from Koraput near Toyaput, Koraput. The personal security officer (PSO) and driver of the MLA who were along with him were allowed to leave.

Mr Hikaka who was held at gun point was taken into the nearby forest, about 40 km from Koraput. Steps have been initiated to ascertain the whereabouts of the legislator. The abduction came at a time when the rebels were holding two Italians as hostages. This incident of the abduction of MLA happened hours after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik appealed to the rebels to desist from violence.

Jhina Hikaka, the 37-year old dynamic tribal leader who was elected for the first time to the state assembly in 2009 from the Laxmipur seat, was involved in a political deal earlier this month with the Maoist-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) in the neighbouring block of Narayanpatna, a well-known ‘Red Zone’ in Odisha’s Koraput district.


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