Maoists abduct Odisha MLA, NSG Commandos on standby
Official sources said the elite National Security Guard Commandos have been kept on standby and may be rushed to Odisha at a short notice to assist the state security forces to rescue the kidnapped persons. Maoists abduct BJD MLA in Odisha; Italians still hostage | Orissa abduction: Uproar in assembly | MLA abductedindia Updated: Mar 24, 2012 15:41 IST
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday called up Union home minister P Chidambaram and briefed him about the situation arising out of the kidnapping of an MLA and two Italians by Naxals.
During their telephonic talk, the home minister asked the chief minister whether he needed any assistance from the Centre to deal with the situation.
However, sources said, Patnaik did not seek any help.
Odisha chief secretary BK Patnaik also called up Union home secretary RK Singh to brief him about the prevailing situation in the state.
Official sources said the elite National Security Guard Commandos have been kept on standby and may be rushed to Odisha at a short notice to assist the state security forces to rescue the kidnapped persons.
Maoists abducted Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka from Koraput district early today.
The abduction came 10 days after the Maoists took two Italians hostage from Kandhamal district on March 14 and talks were on between rebel-nominated negotiators and government representatives to resolve the crisis.
The rebel mediators stressed that one of the Italian hostages could be released if two of their demands were met.
The two demands include release of some ultras including Subhashree Das and action against police officials allegedly involved in fake encounters.
The other Italian would be released when all the 13 demands are settled, they said.
On the release of the hostages, Sharma and Mohanty said the modalities would be discussed and decided at the appropriate level.
"A clear picture will emerge when talks proceed further," Sharma said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that Italian Ambassador Giacomo Sanfelici di Monteforte had spoken to him again and expressed concern for the two hostages.
"He spoke again of the anxiety and distress of the families of the two Italian nationals," Patnaik said asking the Maoists to release the two immediately.
The Odisha Assembly in a resolution also appealed to the abductors to release the two Italians held captive by them since March 14.
Rallies and processions were held in different parts of Odisha by people belonging to various sections of society asking the Maoists to release the hostages.Maoists abduct BJD MLA in Odisha; Italians still hostage | Orissa abduction: Uproar in assembly | MLA abducted