|Swap deal confusing|
|Tuesday, 10 April 2012 03:42|
BHUBANESWAR: The release of Italian hostage Paolo Bosusco is likely to be delayed further with the Maoists asking the State Government to clarify as to how many rebels will be set free and how many of the 13 demands will be fulfilled.
In his latest audio tape, secretary of the Odisha State Organising Committee of the CPI (Maoist) Sabyasachi Panda claimed that the Government had earlier announced to set free six persons as against its demand of seven. But on Saturday, the Government announced it would free five persons, Panda said.
The Maoist leader said the names of three out of the six announced by the Government to be released were clear. But there was confusion regarding three others, he said, adding that this has created suspicion and the Government should make it clear who are the six prisoners going to be released along with their names.
Panda demanded that the Government should announce how many of his group’s 13 demands have been accepted. He also questioned the ban imposed on ‘mass organisations.’
The fresh audio tape from Panda has come after the three mediators of the Government and the two Maoist- appointed interlocutors, B D Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty, signed an agreement announcing that five prisoners will be freed in exchange for the release of Bosusco.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik held an emergency meeting after the audio tape was received here. “There seems to be some confusion. Government negotiators and Maoist-appointed mediators had come to a clear conclusion on Saturday. I do hope all these will be cleared by them soon,” he told mediapersons after the meeting. Naveen said Italian Ambassador Giacomo Sanfelice di Monteforte had again called him and expressed deep concern about Bosusco.
Referring to the demand by other Maoist group holding BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka hostage to free five more of its people, the Chief Minister said legal issues involved are being examined by the Government. The Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC), holding the MLA, has extended the deadline for meeting its demands to April 10 for the release of the 37-year-old legislator.
Stating that the Government had announced release of prisoners as a humanitarian gesture, the Chief Minister asked both the Maoist groups to reciprocate and release Hikaka and Bosusco.
The joint statement on Saturday said the mediators had given six names __ Arati Majhi, Manmohan Pradhan, Suka Nachika, Chakra Tadingi, Bijay Tadingi and Subhashree Das __ of whom five, except Pradhan, would be released.
Bosusco, a Puri-based tour operator, was abducted with another Italian Claudio Colangelo on March 14 while they were trekking in tribal-dominated Kandhamal district. Colangelo was freed on March 25 as a goodwill gesture by the ultras while Bosusco continued to remain in Maoist captivity.
Hikaka was abducted in Koraput district on March 24 while returning to Laxmipur.