33 days have been like 33 yrs: MLA's wife
After 33 days of separation, Odisha MLA Jhina Hikaka's wife, Kaushalya, on Thursday credited god foremost for his release from Maoist captivity.india Updated: Apr 27, 2012 02:20 IST
After 33 days of separation, Odisha MLA Jhina Hikaka's wife, Kaushalya, on Thursday credited god foremost for his release from Maoist captivity.
"He has come back due to god's grace," she said amid sobs holding her husband's hand. "These 33 days have been like 33 years"
Kaushalya, however, did not forget to thank her husband's captors and activists of leftist tribal outfit Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) for his release. But like Hikaka, she was silent on the state government's role.As announced on Wednesday, Maoists handed over the MLA to his wife and NR Patnaik, a lawyer for the CMAS, at Balipeta village.
The scheduled time for release was 10am, but the stage was set around 8.30am when Maoists and CMAS members started blocking the paths to the village with logs. At 9am, rebels scoured the area and reviewed the arrangements at 9.30am.
Kaushalya and Patnaik reached a mango grove near the village 15 minutes later.
At 10am, the rebels freed Hikaka outside the village. Accompanied by tribals, he walked towards the grove and found himself surrounded by jostling mediapersons.
Wiping the sweat off his clean-shaven face, Hikaka - wearing a green khadi kurta - hugged Patnaik before putting a hand on his wife's shoulder.
Amid the reunion, villagers kept looking curiously at the outdoor broadcasting vans of news channels and journalists.
Around 11am, Hikaka, Kaushalya and Patnaik left for Koraput district headquarters, where hundreds of people accorded him a rousing welcome at the government circuit house.
He left with his wife for his village, Dumripadar, in Laxmipur constituency and reached home around 4 pm. Hikaka broke down as his ailing mother and two sons held him.
First Published: Apr 27, 2012 00:16 IST