March 24th, 2012
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Talks over Italian hostages suspended

Talks over Italian hostages suspendedBhubaneshwar: The Maoist negotiators suspended all that that were to be held  after the abduction of MLA Jhina Hikaka yesterday night. The interlocutors said the talks cannot go on while the abductions continue. “MLA’s abduction a mockery of peace process,” said the interlocutors.

Maoists abducted Jhina Hikaka an MLA from Laxmipur of Odisha ‘s ruling party Biju Janata Dal in Koraput district early this morning. 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 comes at a time when the rebels are holding hostage two Italians since the past one week. The government is holding talks with them through their mediators for the Italians’ release. Negotiators BD Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty have appealed to the Maoists to release the legislators without delay.

This incident of the abduction of MLA happened hours after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik appealed to the rebels to desist from violence. The issue was raised in the State Assembly by opposition legislators who disrupted the proceedings condemning the government for the kidnapping of the legislator. The agitated legislators, belonging to both Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party, broke the Speaker’s microphone when pandemonium prevailed in the House leading to an adjournment of the proceedings.


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