In a new twist to BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka's hostage crisis in Odisha, Maoists have purportedly issued a fresh communication asking his wife to reach a village in Koraput district on April 10 along with 30 prisoners to pave way for the legislator's release.
The letter, released to a section of the media by Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) of the Maoists, asked Hikaka's wife Kaushalya to reach Balipeta in Naxal-hit Narayanpatna area.
The Maoists have asked her to reach the place along with 30 rebels, including 23 people whose release Odisha government had decided to facilitate and seven more rebels.
The letter, bearing the name of a senior Maoist leader and addressed to the media, said the MLA's wife should also be accompanied by the two Naxal-nominated mediators - BD Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty - engaged in the Italian hostage crisis
and Koraput-based lawyer Nihar Patnaik.
One of the Maoist nominated mediators BD Sharma had meanwhile left the state capital for Delhi.
The Maoists said they would hand over the abducted 37-year-old Laxmipur MLA to them provided they do not bring along any police or intelligence officials.
When contacted, Hikaka's wife said she was not aware of any communication from the abductors of his husband. "It must have been sent to the media," she said, appealing to the Maoists to release her husband unharmed and in good health.
The letter came a day after the Maoists in a message to the media extended the deadline for fulfilment of their demands till April 10. They had initially fixed April 5 as deadline and then extended it till Saturday.