After 29 days, Maoists free Italian hostage
Source: The Sangai Express / Agencies

Bhu'swar, April 12 2012: In a major breakthrough in the hostage crisis in Odisha the Sabyasachi Panda led Orissa State Organising Committee of the CPI (Maoist) on Thursday freed Italian citizen Basusco Paolo (55) after keeping him in captivity for 29 day.

The fate of MLA Jhina Hikaka, who was abducted from Koraput on March 24, however still remains uncertain.

The Maoists handed over Paolo to social activist Dandapani Mohanty who along with former IAS officer and tribal rights activist BD Sharma negotiated for his release near Raikia in Kandhamal district, about 250 km from Bhubaneswar, at 5 am.

From there, Mohanty brought Paolo straight to the State Guest House in Bhubaneswar.

"I am fine.

I was treated well," said Paolo after coming out of the car wearing a white shirt as photographers clicked his pictures.

He was however not allowed to meet the media persons who were waiting outside and ushered in to meet the Italian ambassador Giacomo Sanfelice di Monteforte and consul general Joel Nechiori who were waiting for him.

Talking to reporters Dandapani Mohanty said the OSOC requested him to drive Paolo straight to Bhubaneswar to hand him over to the Odisha government.

"However he showed his displeasure that the government had decided to release the prisoners on bail.

They demanded that the government should withdraw cases on innocent persons like Arati Majhi to expedite their release," Mohanty said.

Talking to reporters, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik said: "The state government is naturally relieved after Paolo's release" .

Paolo and fellow Italian Claudio Colangelo were abducted on March 14 by the OSOC in Kandhamal district where they had gone on a trekking expedition.

On March 25, Panda had released Colangelo as a "goodwill gesture" but kept Paolo in captivity demanding the state government to fulfil the rebels' 13 demands, including release of seven persons from jail.

The government negotiators led by home secretary UN Behera and Maoist backed mediators former IAS officer and tribal rights activist BD Sharma and social activist Dandapani Mohanty reached an agreement on Saturday regarding release of five persons from jail in exchange of Paolo's release and government stand on the 13-point demand.

However, Paolo's freedom was delayed by another four day as Panda claimed that he did not receive the copy of the agreement even as his wife, Subhashree Panda, whose name figured in the government list of to be released, was acquitted by court on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, offering a ray of hope for Paolo, Panda issued an audiotape in the media in which he said he had yet to receive the joint agreement between mediators but got information from reliable sources that the Odisha government had made its stand clear on the Maoists' 13-point demand.

We had asked for release of seven people.

The government has agreed to facilitate release of five.

We welcome the steps taken by the government," Panda said.

On the other hand, the Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of the CPI (Maoist) has stuck to its demand that Hikaka would be released only if the government freed 30 Maoists and others from jail.

"If the government resorts to conspiracy, we would decide the fate of Hikaka in a people's court," AOBSZC spokesperson Jagabandhu said in a letter on Wednesday.

In another development, a court in Gajapati district rejected the bail for the release of Arati Majhi, whose name figure in the list of 27 detainees in exchange for the hostages.

On the other hand, a court in Koraput acquitted Gananath Patra, advisor to liftist tribal outfit Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha.

Both OSOC and AOBSZC had demanded Patra's release, but the state government had refused to include his name in its list of 27 persons.

Patra himself had refused bail on Tuesday objecting conditions to his movement.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Manipur was never under British rule #1
  • Wildlife week celebration 2015
  • I am his Partner : Poem
  • Ghost of the past, Self & Bigger other
  • Importance of Tribal languages #4
  • Aos in Church movement in Amri Karbi
  • Virgo Requires Drivers
  • Blame Game and Double-speak
  • Manipur on the map of diseases
  • Arambam Sunitikumar: National Awardee
  • Sharmila back to Imphal : Gallery
  • In pursuit of nostalgic taste & aroma
  • Non-Violence : The highest virtue
  • Tribal rights under PESA Act 1996
  • Dynamic Startup 1.0
  • Vacancy @CloudZack Tech, Imphal
  • Anguish In S'pore, Domestic Help Returns
  • Women Of NE Leads On Peace And Security
  • India can't claim UN; repeal AFSPA
  • IWCF concerned by human trafficking
  • NSCN (K) ban- no mention of killing army
  • Crisis of Implementation
  • Reflecting the deep community divide
  • Money Power in Election in India #4
  • Young Peace Builders at Germany #2
  • Protect the Amur falcon
  • Why we are always in warring mood!
  • Autumn Musings :: Poem
  • UFO: humanitarian contrary to popular belief
  • Dynamic Startup Event at MIMS
  • Free Skill Development Course for SC/OBC
  • Book release on WWII : Gallery
  • Conference : Women Safety Issues in Delhi
  • Activists meet Sharmila at Delhi
  • Jobs @Mobimp Services, Imphal
  • Suu Kyi favours peaceful settlement
  • Accountability on Fund Utilisation
  • Fasting for 15 years against AFSPA
  • Tangkhuls of Kangleipak
  • Khamnen, Mingthingla :: eMing
  • Autonomous District Councils, in brief
  • Demands Dengue Budget from Govt
  • Vinod Rai denied work in Nagaland in 1972
  • Chabungbam Daniel: Journalist Fellowship
  • RIST-15 Lecture at MU, Canchipur
  • Pact aside, chopper chase tells tale
  • Sharmila: repeal AFSPA :: Timeline
  • Negating Objectives
  • Losing precious academic time
  • Nongmaijing Hill #2 : Gallery
  • Opportunity to valley brothers & legislators
  • Sharmila left Imphal to Delhi: Gallery
  • Importance of tribal folklores in Manipur
  • My faith; my answers
  • A Little About Life :: Poem
  • Air Hostess as career option
  • Kanarjit Kangujam: Advisor of YSSE, Dhaka
  • National Photography Workshop at Imphal
  • Blockade woes for Nepal
  • Striving for peace and normalcy
  • Lamyanba Irabot Birth Anniv #2: Gallery
  • Test for Glycated Haemoglobin
  • Manipur: The three big issues
  • Understanding Tribal's relation to land
  • Expert Report On landslide affected areas #2
  • New Year Thought
  • World Tourism Day #4: Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Rejects Nagaland MP's interference
  • Imphal-based CPWD SE arrested
  • Future of Democracy
  • The social hypocrisy should go
  • Lanthengnaribi #2 :: eRang
  • Irabot, only leader of oppressed mass
  • In search of paradise, Barak waterfalls
  • Worshiping in Truth & in Spirit
  • Something is wrong somewhere : Poem
  • Meeyamgi Thougal @Pune : Gallery
  • Puppy rescued from Moirangkhom
  • Mapao Zingsho khul #1 : Gallery
  • Gaikhangam's vision for lasting peace
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • MU NSS Award : Gallery
  • Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights
  • 'No tribe council entrusted KIM'
  • MNP (Meitei Nationalist Party) formed
  • Mee gi hourakpham : Funga
  • Value of education: A Gandhian perspective
  • World Tourism Day #3: Gallery
  • Brajalal: Sweet comedian :: eRang
  • Jobs @Unitrans Solutions, Mantripukhri
  • Irabot Day at Delhi University
  • Irabot Day in Aryabhatta College, Delhi
  • Painting Competition at Canchipur
  • 6th eNorth East Awards [Upd]
  • Coming of a new Chief Secretary
  • Keibul Lamjao Park: Ecotourism, potentials
  • Heikru Hidongba #2: Gallery
  • Manipur For Ridley Scott's Blockbuster?
  • Sharmila @Cheirap Court: Gallery
  • Memo to PM on Denial of Settlement Rights
  • Cine Actor's Guild Foundation Day: Gallery
  • Peace & Security Conference: Gallery
  • World Tourism Day #2: Gallery
  • Phongdoknadringei #3 :: eRang
  • Culture of Kangleipak #3
  • Manipur Cricket Assn : Gallery
  • LLTT influence & Manipur Problems!
  • Mera-Hou Chongba thouram at Khangabok
  • Robert Naorem- Kanglei Fashion : Gallery
  • AAMSU Conference @Hojai : Gallery
  • World Tourism Day #1: Gallery
  • European Girls' Mathematical Olympiads
  • Likon Sanaba @Wangoo #1: Gallery
  • Religious Landscape in Manipur #3
  • Eid-ul-Zuha @Lilong : Gallery
  • Meeyamgi Luchingba - Hijam Irabot
  • Student's Bridge: E-magazine Download
  • Hiyang-tanaba @Ningthoukhong: Gallery
  • Biju Ningombam - Photos #1 : eRang
  • Skuiryi Takoi Maram :: Ooba
  • Eyek Tamba : Learn Manipuri script
  • Wahengbam Leikai :: Panorama 360 View
  • Kangla Paphal Chingkhatpa #2: Gallery
  • Jiribam Wallpaper #1 : Download
  • Interview: Tony Karam (Mamcy Mall)
  • Biju Ningombam - Actress : eRang
  • Download :: PMP Bill 2015
  • Download :: MLR&LR Bill 2015
  • Download :: MSE Bill 2015
  • Sapam Robinhood - Lamjing Meira