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Congress voices concern over abduction of BJD MLA by Maoists

New Delhi, Sat, 24 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 24 (ANI): Congress leader Renuka Chowdhary on Saturday voiced concern over the abduction of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator by Maoists in Orissa and urged them to release him.

While talking to the reporters in New Delhi, Chowdhary said that the central government had provided monetary assistance to the state governments with an aim to help them take steps to combat the Maoist activities.

"We regret that they have been kidnapped and we pray and are hopeful that we will bring them back. This fear is there in every Maoist affected area and to tackle this the central government has provided the state government with billions of rupees to stabilize the infrastructure in these areas," said Chowdhary.

Chowdhary urged the Maoists to release the abducted legislator and added that they should put forward their demands before the government.

"I appeal to the Maoists that they should release him and this is not the way to deal with such situations. They should know that they will not get public sympathy and if they have any demands then they should sit down and talk. If the provincial government is not willing to talk to the Maoists then I am ready to interact and we will find a way," she added.

A tribal MLA of the ruling 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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