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)

Attack on Congo student 'heinous', 'unacceptable', but not racial: Sushma May 31, 5:27 pm
New Delhi, May 31 (ANI): Condemning the killing of a Congo student (Oliver) as "heinous" and "unacceptable", External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said it was "not a racial attack".
Full Story
16 killed, 17 injured in Pulgaon inferno, says Army May 31, 5:23 pm
New Delhi, May 31 (ANI): At least 16 people were killed, including two officers, one jawan and 14 civilian firefighting staffs, and 17 were injured on Tuesday after a fire broke out at the Central Ammunition Depot in Pulgaon, Wardha district in Maharashtra.
Full Story
Defence expert calls on Govt. for extensive inquiry into Wardha inferno May 31, 4:32 pm
New Delhi, May 31 (ANI): Defence and security analyst Praful Bakshi on Tuesday demanded a full-fledged inquiry into the Pulgaon Army depot inferno, which has claimed lives of 15 Defence Security Corps (DSC) jawans and two officers, and questioned if it is 'bureaucratic hang-up or red-tapism' which is holding back the administration to function properly and leaving the arms and ammunitions in open.
Full Story
'Shahenshah' and 'Shehzada' culture prevalent only Congress: BJP to Sonia May 31, 4:04 pm
New Delhi, May.31 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday hit back at the Congress party over its chief Sonia Gandhi referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a 'shahenshah' (emperor), while defending allegations against her son-in-law Robert Vadra, saying that 'dynastic politics' is a hallmark of the grand old party and not the BJP's.
Full Story