Odisha's hostage crisis did not end on Thursday with the release of abducted Italian Paolo Bosusco as there has been no movement on MLA Jhina Hikaka, who is in Maoist captivity.
"Twenty days have passed and we have lost all hope. The government should work out some solutions to secure my husband's release," said Shakuntala, the wife of the abducted MLA.
Hikaka was abducted in Koraput district on March 24.
Talking to reporters on Thursday evening, home secretary UN Behera reiterated the government's decision to facilitate the release of 27 persons. "We appeal the Maoists to release Hikaka," he said.
The Andhra Odisha Border Zonal Committee of the CPI (Maoist) (AOBZC), which is behind Hikaka's abduction, has so far refused to engage in talks with the mediators.
Initially, the AOBZC demanded the release of activists of the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha and Maoists in Koraput and Malkangiri jail — more than 150 in all. But when the government said it would facilitate the release of 22 detainees including eight Maoists, for Hikaka's release, the AOBZC demanded the release of five more Maoists. Reason: they claimed that only two out of the original eight were Maoists.
In a letter to the media on Wednesday, AOBZC spokesperson Jagabandhu had sought the release of 30 Maoists in all in exchange for Hikaka.