Progress marked the second day’s negotiation on Friday between the Odisha government and Maoist-backed negotiators on the release of the two abducted Italians.
Odisha home secretary UN Behera, leading the talks on the state government’s side, said they discussed all the 13 Maoist demands raised by former IAS BD Sharma and activist Dandapani Mohanty.
“The discussion is making progress. We’ll resume the discussion tomorrow (Saturday),” Behera said.
Sharma, who is also a tribal rights activist, hoped something positive would emerge by Saturday evening.
“We expect to resolve the issues by tomorrow,” he told reporters here after their talks.
During the discussion, the demand for including a third negotiator on the Naxal side did not figure, which meant the government will resume the process with two Maoist mediators only.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik urged the Maoists to refrain from violence and create an atmosphere for talks.
Despite declaring a ceasefire before the interlocution, the Maoists allegedly shot dead a policeman in Malkangiri on Thursday.
Maoists abducted Basusco Paolo (55) and Claudio Colangelo (60) from the forests of Kandhamal, about 300 km southwest of Bhubaneswar, on March 14 when the foreigners had gone on a trekking expedition. The Italians are in Maoist captivity for the last 10 days.
Sharma said the condition of the hostages was fine.
Office building blasted
Suspected Maoists on late Thursday night blew up an office building and set 10 trucks on fire in Jamui district of southeastern Bihar.
Sources said more than 24 members of the red brigade raided the block office nearly an hour past midnight. After blasting the building with dynamite, they set it on fire.
While retreating, the extremists set on fire trucks waiting to load sand at Gideshwar ghat on the banks of the Kiul river.