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Maoist mediators express happiness over release of one Italian tourist

Bhubaneshwar , Sun, 25 Mar 2012 ANI

Bhubaneshwar, Mar 25 (ANI): Mediators nominated by Maoists for negotiation with the Orissa Government on Sunday expressed happiness over the release of one of the Italian tourists earlier in the day.

"We are happy that the first step towards the resolution of the crisis has been taken. As you know that we had said yesterday that both the hostages should be released but due to such a long distance between them (Maoists) and us they did not get our full message and released only one," said B D Sharma, one of the nominated Maoist mediators.

On being asked whether they will resume the talks with Maoists after the release of one of the hostages, Sharma said unless and until they don't get an official go ahead from Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik they are unable to tell whether or not they will resume talks with the Maoists.

"As long as we don't get the full account of what happened and how the hostage was released we will not be able to take the next step. As long as the chief minister's statement does not come to us we are not in position to tell that we will reinitiate our talk with the Maoists or not," added Sharma.

The second Maoist mediator, Dandapani Mohanty said they came to know of the news of Italian tourist's release from media only as the Maoists did not establish any contact with them.

"We came to know about the release of the Italian tourist through media only, so far the Maoists have not told us anything about the release and whether or not they have sent any message through the released tourist we have no idea," said Mohanty.

The Maoists, earlier in the day, released Italian tourist Claudio Colangelo due to his ailing health, after keeping him in their captivity for eleven days.

While, the fate of fellow Italian Bosusco Paolo still hangs in balance.

The Orissa Government and Maoists negotiators had, on Saturday, suspended the negotiations in the wake of the abduction of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Jhina Hikaka yesterday. (ANI)

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