CM calls emergency meeting as fate of hostages still unknown | india | Hindustan Times
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CM calls emergency meeting as fate of hostages still unknown

india Updated: Mar 25, 2012 13:59 IST


With the fate of a BJD MLA and two Italians, taken hostage by Maoists in Odisha remaining unknown, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday held an emergency meeting with top officials to review the situation.

The government has not yet received any demand from the Maoists for release of BJD MLA from Laxmipur, Jhina Hikaka, who was kidnapped near Toyaput in Koraput district yesterday, Chief Secretary B K Patnaik, who attended the meeting, said.

No new names of mediators for talks to resolve the Italian hostage crisis was received from the ultras after suspension of negotiations on Saturday after two of them quit, he said.

The meeting was also attended by home secretary U N Behera and director general of police Manmohan Praharaj.

The talks for the release of two Italians, Puri-based tour operator Paolo Basusco and tourist Claudio Colangelo kidnapped from Kandhamal district on March 14, were suspended after Maoist negotiators B D Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty quit following the abduction of Hikaka.

While 37-year-old Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka was abducted by armed Maoists in Koraput district at 1:00 AM on Saturday, the two Italisns - Puri based tour operator Paolo Basusco and tourist Claudio Colangelo - were kidnapped in Kandhamal district on March 14.

The abduction of the ruling BJD legislator compounded the woes of the state government already struggling to resolve the 11-day Italian hostage crisis.

The chief minister sent two minisers, S N Patro and Lal Bihari Himirika to Laxmipur after the kidnap of the tribal legislator.

A declaration was made by Maoists through posters that the MLA would be held hostage till the demands for halt to anti-Maoist operations by security forces, accepted after the release of the then Malkangiri district collector R Vineel Krishna in February, 2011 were fulfilled.