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Maoists set free Odisha legislator Jhina Hikaka

Orissa,Terrorism, Thu, 26 Apr 2012 IANS

Bhubaneswar, April 26 (IANS) Maoists Thursday released Odisha legislator Jhina Hikaka in Koraput district after holding him captive for more than a month.


TV visuals showed Hikaka, looking healthy and relieved, walking into a crowd of people, accompanied by his wife.


"We're glad that he is safe and unharmed," Baijayant Panda, an MP of Hikaka's party Biju Janata Dal (BJD), told reporters.


The left-wing extremists, who kidnapped the 37-year-old from Laxmipur in Koraput, over 500 km from here, March 24, had Wednesday announced that a people's court decided to release him after he apologised to the rebels and local villagers.


A Maoist leader calling herself 'Aruna', in an audio message aired by a local television channel here, Wednesday said the decision to release him was taken after he promised to resign from the assembly and the primary membership of the BJD.


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