Maoists scale down demand for Hikaka’s release (Lead)April 15th, 2012 - 2:17 pm ICT by IANS
Bhubaneswar, April 15 (IANS) While setting a Wednesday deadline, Maoists Sunday let go of the demand to free a key rebel in exchange for the release of Odisha’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Jhina Hikaka whom they have held captive for over 20 days.
The guerrillas in an audio message received by some journalists here said in Telugu that the government has to free 29 prisoners to secure the release of 37-year-old Hikaka, who represents Laxmipur constituency.
The rebels, who initially wanted 30 prisoners to be freed, have announced they will not insist on the release of rebel leader Chenda Bhusanam alias Ghasi, who faces charges of killing more than 55 security personnel.
A Maoist leader who calls herself Aruna said the hostage will be handed over to a local legislator, Nihar Patnaik, and Hikaka’s wife Kaushalya Majhi at Balipeta village of Koraput district if the 29 prisoners are freed by April 18 evening.
The new deadline from the rebels came days after the government said it cannot release Ghasi as he faces grievous charges.
Hikaka was kidnapped by the Andhra-Odisha border special zonal committee of the Communist Party of India-Maoist in his home district of Koraput March 24.
The Maoists had earlier announced an April 10 deadline for the government.
The government had appealed for the legislator’s release, but there was no response from the rebels in the past few days.
The people whose release the rebels have sought in exchange for the legislator are mostly members of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS), an organization working in the southern parts of the state, including in Malkangiri and Koraput districts, on tribal-related issues.
The rebels said they had been booked on false charges. Police however say the organisation has Maoist support.
- Maoists set Wednesday deadline for Hikaka's release - Apr 15, 2012
- Hostage crisis: Odisha yet to decide on fresh demands (Lead) - Apr 10, 2012
- Hostage crisis: Odisha yet to decide on fresh demands - Apr 09, 2012
- Odisha hostage crisis: Maoist deadline ends Tuesday - Apr 10, 2012
- Little movement on release of Odisha legislator - Apr 17, 2012
- 33 days on, Maoists free Odisha legislator Hikaka (Fourth lead) - Apr 26, 2012
- Odisha speeds up process to secure legislator's release - Apr 13, 2012
- Maoists to release Hikaka Thursday (Second Lead) - Apr 25, 2012
- Maoists holding Hikaka hostage make fresh demand - Apr 21, 2012
- Two kidnappings: Maoists release MLA, hold on to collector (Roundup) - Apr 26, 2012
- Maoists to release Hikaka Thursday, says lawyer (Lead) - Apr 25, 2012
- Maoists plan peoples' court to decide fate of Hikaka - Apr 18, 2012
- Odisha offers to withdraw cases as hostage crisis worsens (Lead) - Apr 17, 2012
- Hostage crisis: Odisha to release 27 prisoners (Lead) - Apr 05, 2012
- Court issues notices on release of Maoists for Hikaka - Apr 19, 2012
Tags: alias, audio message, biju, bjd, communist party of india, constituency, false charges, guerrillas, hostage, janata, legislator, majhi, maoist, maoists, prisoners, rebel leader, rebels, sangh, security personnel, telugu