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Crisis worsen in Odisha as Maoists kidnapped BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka

Bhubaneshwar, Sat, 24 Mar 2012 NI Wire

Ten days after abducting two Italian hosts, the rebel Maoists on Saturday early morning has kidnapped a legislator of Biju Janta Dal from Koraput district, Odisha Police informed to media. While on the other hand for safely releasing the deprived Italian hosts, state government on Thursday evening decided to make third round of conversation with Maoists, sources said.

According to Koraput Police, about 50 armed rebels on Saturday early morning intercepted the car of BJD legislator Jhina Hikaka (34) in the midway between Koraput and Laxmipur when he was returning to his home to Laxmipur in Koraput district.

The armed men kidnapped Jhina from the hills area of Koraput district and let his personal security officer (PSO) and driver free while the kidnappers took away to legislator into the forest areas, as PSO and driver informed to the police, the police said.

The kidnapping of the Laxmipur legislator came at that time when Odisha government was trying to negotiate with the Maoists for safely and securely release of two Italian hosts who was deprived on March 18, 2012 from Kandhmal district.

According to sources, earlier on Thursday evening, Odisha government began talks with Maoist nominated mediators Dandapani Mohanty and BD Sharma for the 'safe and proper' release of the Italian nationals.

Both conversational partners met state's top officials including Home Secretary UN Behera to mediate on the hostage crisis.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has repeatedly urged for the safe release of the two Italian nationals.

The Maoists were demanding immediate release of their three leaders - Gananath Patra, Subhashree Panda and Ashutosh Soren from the government.

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