Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday called an emergency meeting at 11.30 am on the ongoing hostage crises in the state.
Sunday marks the twelfth day since two Italian nationals were abducted by Maoists in Kandhamal district. The Maoists put forward a 13-point demand list in return for the release of the duo. However, the state government is yet to accept any.
Meanwhile, in another shocking turn in the case, a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA was kidnapped on Saturday allegedly by a rival faction of the Maoists.
Matters were made worse after the mediators appointed by the Maoists suspended talks between the government and the Naxals citing “atrocities by both parties”.
Addressing a press conference, the negotiators, BD Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty, appealed to the Maoists to free the three hostages, including the BJD MLA, Jhina Hikaka, on humanitarian grounds.
It must be noted that the third round of talks between the Maoists and the negotiators was slated to be held on Saturday afternoon, after two rounds of negotiations had failed in the past.
Earlier, on Tuesday, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik decided to send two ministers for negotiating and securing Hikaka’s release.
The chief minister also said that the negotiations with regard to two Italian hostages, who were abducted by the Maoists 11 days ago, would continue with Naxal interlocutors for their release.
Meanwhile, Italy has expressed its concern over the continuing delay in the issue. “The Italian government… we are very concerned about the two Italians who were kidnapped and it remains the goal of the government to release them in a safe manner as soon as possible,” the Italian consul to India said.