Italian hostage crisis: Odisha Govt. begins talks with mediators

   Mar 22, 9:14 pm

Bhubaneswar, Mar 22 (ANI): The Odisha Government on Thursday evening began talks with two of the Maoist nominated mediators, Dandapani Mohanty and BD Sharma, for the safe release of two Italian nationals abducted by the ultras.

Mohanty and Sharma today met Home Secretary UN. Behera, Panchayatai Raj Secretary Pradeep Jena, and Scheduled Tribe Development Secretary Santosh Sarangi from the state government side to decide on the future course of action.

Sharma, a retired bureaucrat, after the meeting said the 13 points put forward by the Maoists were reviewed.

"We reviewed the 13 points put forward by the Maoists. There are questions marks on a few points, while some points need further discussions," he said.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had earlier in the day appealed the Maoists to safely release the two abducted Italian tourists.

"Today our assembly, the House unanimously appealed for the safe release of both the Italian nationals who are held by the Maoists and that their appeal to the Maoists is to release them immediately," said Patnaik.

Maoists kidnapped Bosusco Paolo, 54 and Claudio Colangelo, 61 and have kept them as hostages on the excuse that they were believed to have taken objectionable photographs of tribal women in Kandhamal-Ganjam border area of Orissa.

It is reported that the Maoists want the State Government to stop all combing operations and initiate dialogue with them.

The Maoists have demanded the state government to act on the 13-point charter of demands, which includes the release of political prisoners and the ending of Operation Greenhunt. (ANI)

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