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Negotiations put on hold after abduction of BJD MLA in Odisha by Maoists

Bhubaneshwar , Sat, 24 Mar 2012 ANI

Bhubaneshwar, Mar 24 (ANI): Negotiations between Maoist and government mediators were put on suspension on Saturday after the abduction Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Jinha Hikaka on early Saturday morning.

Speaking to Mediapersons here, State Home Secretary UN Behera after meeting with Maoists mediators, said: "We have discussed the matter today with both mediators nominated by the CPI-Maoists. In the last two days there has been two unfortunate incidents in which one sub inspector of Police has been killed and the honourable MLA Mr. Jinha Hikaka of Laxmipur has been kidnapped in the circumstances the mediators suggested that the negotiations be suspended."

Behera further appealed to the CPI-Maoists to release Hikaka and the two Italian citizens whom they have kept hostage, as soon as possible.

BD Sharma, one of the mediators nominated by the Maoists, confirmed the news that the Maoists were behind the abduction Hikaka.

"A declaration has been made by the Maoists through posters that MLA will be kept as hostage until the demands that had been conceded after the release of collector Malkangiri are fulfilled," said Sharma.

A tribal MLA of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha, Jinha Hikaka was abducted by Maoists in Koraput district early on Saturday morning.

Police said that Jhina Hikaka, a legislator from Laxmipur, was returning home from Koraput when more than 50 armed rebels stopped his vehicle near Toyaput.

Media quoted Koraput Superintendent of Police Avinash Kumar, as saying that at the time of his kidnapping, Hikaka was accompanied by a personal security officer (PSO) and a driver, who were allowed to leave.

Hikaka was taken into a nearby forest located about 40 kilometeres from Koraput by the ultras at gunpoint, he said.

The PSO and driver informed the Laxmipur police station about the incident, Kumar said, adding that steps have been initiated to ascertain the whereabouts of the legislator.

The abduction comes ten days after the Maoists took two Italians hostage from Kandhamal district on March 14. (ANI)

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