Italian Hostage Crisis: Maoists mediators quit

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Maoists
Bhubaneswar, Mar 25: The two Maoist-appointed negotiators pulled out of the parleys after suspension of talks to end the Italian hostage crisis following the abduction of a BJD MLA and Odisha government asked the ultras to nominate new ones.

"Two negotiators nominated by Maoists, Dr BD Sharma and Mr Dandapani Mohanty have decided not to remain negotiators ... because they consider that there is no conducive atmosphere for talks," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters after reviewing the situation with top officials and police.

BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka was kidnapped by Maoists near Toyaput in Korapur district while he was returning home today. The two Italians Paolo Bosusco and Claudio Colangelo were kidnapped by Maoists on Mar 14 from Kandhamal district trekking.

Expressing the hope that Maoists would name fresh negotiators, Patnaik said the talks would be held in the state capital for release of all the three hostages.

The state government's side would be reprepresented by the same set of negotiators -- Home Secretary UN Behera, Panchayati Raj Secretary PK Jena and ST, SC Development Secretary Santosh K Sarangi, he said.

Patnaik also issued a fresh appeal to Maoists to immediately release the MLA and the two Italians on humanitarian grounds.

Replying a question, Patnaik said the state government would re-send advisory to legislators on dos and do'nts while on tour in Maoist hit areas. The state government had issued such an advisory in March 2011 after the kidnapping of former Malkangiri district collector R Vineel Krishna in February last year.

PTI

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