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Maoists abduct Orissa MLA, Patnaik takes stock at security meeting in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneshwar, Sat, 24 Mar 2012 ANI

Bhubaneshwar, Mar.24 (ANI): A tribal MLA of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha 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.

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has appealed to the rebels to desist from violence. He also taking stock of the latest developments related to the kidnappings.Patnaik chaired a meeting of security officials in Bhubaneshwar this morning over the kidnapping of the MLA by Maoists.

Maoist negotiators engaged to end the Italian hostage crisis - B D Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty - have appealed to the Maoists to release the legislator without delay.

"This is a worrisome development. Negotiations were on to get the release of Italians, said BJD Member of Parliament Jay Panda. (ANI)

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