Jhina Hikaka hostage crisis: Mediator for Maoists wants charges withdrawn against captives
Koraput, Apr 16 (ANI): Convenor of Jana Adhikar Manch (JAM) and Maoist mediator Dandapani Mohanty on Monday held the Odisha Government responsible for delay in the process of release of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Jhina Hikaka.
"Government is responsible for the delay in the process of release of Jhina Hikaka. On April 6, the government in the legislative assembly said that they would release 27 people. Till now they have not taken back the charges and said that they will only be released on bail," Mohanty told media.
"Therefore, today I had come to Balipeta to meet the relatives of the captives who are jailed in Narayanpatna, Koraput jail. The relatives said that the people will not be released on bail and the government has charged them with false allegations. They demanded that the false allegations should be taken back and CRPC section 321 should be removed by the government to arrange for the release of the prisoners," he added.
Mohanty further urged Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to deal with the issue as a law and order problem rather than dealing with it as a political issue.
"The release of the MLA totally depends on the government. When he will be able to see his wife and child depends on the chief minister because till now the government has been treating this issue as a law and order problem rather than treating it as a political issue. If the government continues to treat it as a law and order problem there will be no results. I suggest to the Chief Minister that the government should remove the false allegations and move forward to arrange for the release of the state legislator," added Mohanty.
However, the Maoists have extended the deadline for his release till Wednesday.Nihar Ranjan Patnaik, a Koraput based lawyer, who fights cases for Maoists, on Sunday informed that Maoists' Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) set a new deadline of 5 pm of April 18 for release of 29 prisoners. The Maoists had earlier demanded the release of 30 prisoners to free Hikaka, including the name of Chenda Bhusanam alias Ghasi, accused of killing more than 55 police personnel.
Hikaka was kidnapped near Toyaput after a large group of armed men stopped him as he was being driven through a hilly area some 500 kilometres away from Bhubaneswar on March 24. (ANI)
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