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BJD hails Maoists' move to release one Italian hostage

New Delhi, Sun, 25 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 25 (ANI): Senior leader and lawmaker from Biju Janata Dal (BJD), B. Mahtab welcomed the Maoists' move to release one of the abducted Italians in Orissa on Sunday.

Lauding the move, Mahtab asserted that releasing the Italian hostage was long overdue.

"It is a very welcome step, I would say, on the part of the Maoists to have released at least one Italian citizen who was abducted 11 days ago. I hope the next Italian who is under their captivity will be released soon. But, I think this (release of one of the Italian hostages) was overdue," said Mahtab.

Speaking on Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Jhina Hikaka's abduction, Mahtab revealed the legislator's abductors had no link with the Maoist outfit that had kidnapped the Italian tourists.

"Different (Maoist) groups are operating on different platforms. This group, which has actually abducted the MLA of Laxmipur in Koraput district, that group is operating on Andhra (Pradesh)-Orissa border, which has given a call for Bharat bandh since yesterday and they have no connection, as far as my information goes, they have no connection with the group that has abducted (the Italians)," said Mahtab.

Mahtab further rued over the perceived 'disconnect' between the central and state governments on the Italian hostage crisis.

"There has been little bit of disconnect between the state government and the centre, because the day the Italians were abducted, the information that was received by the state police, the next day early in the morning, the chief minister had tried to contact the Home Minister. It took more than eight hours, the Home Minister to get back to the chief minister, after repeated requests from the chief minister's office," said Mahtab.

After eleven days of captivity, Maoists, on Sunday morning, released Claudio Colangelo one of the two Italian hostages, raising hopes of release of the second Italian hostage, Bosusco Paolo as well.

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

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