Maoists advocate in the dark

BHUBANESWAR : Even as the State Government on Friday announced that bail applications are being organised for the activists of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) and CPI (Maoist) for the release of the abducted MLA Jhina Hikaka, the advocate of these two organisations Nihar Patnaik said he has not received any communication in this regard.
Patnaik said neither the State Government nor the district administration has communicated with him. “The CMAS and the CPI (Maoist) have asked me not to file any bail applications on their behalf,” he said.
He said the Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) of the CPI (Maoist) wants release of all the 30 prisoners, demanded by them, for the release of the abducted MLA. Besides, they want withdrawal of all the false cases against the 30 activists, he said.

The 30 activists, whose release is demanded by AOBSZC, include hardcore Maoist Cheda Bhusanam alias Ghasi and four CMAS activists. The State Government has already made it clear that it wants to facilitate the release of 23 prisoners __ 15 activists of the CMAS and eight Maoists.Patnaik, who is also president of the Koraput District Bar Association, said all the cases against CMAS activists and Maoists in Koraput sub-division should be transferred to the fast-track court for their speedy disposal.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who visited Koraput district on Friday, appealed again to the CPI (Maoist) to release the MLA immediately unhurt and in good health.

“I held discussion with MLAs of undivided Koraput district and officials on the need to secure Hikaka’s release,” Naveen said upon his return from Koraput district, where the 37-year-old MLA was abducted by Naxals on March 24.

A group of Scheduled Caste people from Narayanpatna gave a memorandum to the Chief Minister seeking justice alleging that they have been ousted from the area. Naveen also met the family members of Hikaka at his house in Laxmipur who are in a state of anxiety since the abduction of the first-time MLA.

As the Maoists refused to hold negotiations to resolve the hostage crisis through mediators, it has become difficult for the State Government to make any headway. “Direct negotiations would have facilitated the process,” Home Secretary U N Behera said and added no back-channel contact with abductors has been established so far.
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