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Odisha abduction: Govt, Maoists resume talks

Mar 26, 2012 12:35 PM IST India India

Bhubaneswar: The second round of talks between the Naxal-appointed interlocutors and the government's representatives to end the Odisha hostage crisis began on Monday. While one of the abducted Italians Claudio Colangelo was released on Sunday, talks resumed to secure the release of the second Italian hostage Paulo Bosusco.

Naxals released the other tourist Claudio Colangelo on Sunday after keeping him captive for almost two weeks.

Naxal leader Sabyasachi Panda in a message said, "We abducted the foreign tourists to send a message to the government that tribals are not monkeys that anyone can come and watch them."

One of the negotiator on behalf of the Naxals Dandapani Mohanty told CNN-IBN that negotiators did not want to waste any time.

The Maoists had climbed down from their 13 demands for the release of the abducted Italians and put forward just two conditions. Panda did not release Paolo and demanded that five Maoist leaders including his wife, Subhashree Panda, be released and actions be taken against police officers who are charged with rape, custodial deaths and violence against tribals and villagers.

However, Mohanty said so long the demand for the release of BJD MLA Jina Hikaka, who was abducted by another faction of Maoists, was not formally made by the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border special zonal committee.

Mohanty said that the Naxal group that has abducted the MLA might send their demands by Monday night.

Condemning Hikara's abduction, Panda said, "We condemn the Maoist violence in the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border region. There was no reason to abduct the MLA when the talks between the Naxals and the government were going on in a cordial manner."

There was ruckus in the Odisha Assembly on Monday after protests by the Opposition demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the hostage crisis.

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