Italian tourist free from Maoists

Odisha hostage crisis: Maoists release one Italian tourist
Odisha hostage crisis: Maoists release one Italian tourist

BHUBANESWAR: Police on Sunday said the Maoists released one of the two Italians, Claudio Colangelo, who were kidnapped 11 days ago in Odisha.

Speaking to reporters after his release, 61-year-old Claudio said: “They have finally released me today. Let’s hope they release Paolo soon.”Earlier, chief Minister Naveen Patnaikon Sunday held a meeting of top state police and administrative officials.The guerillas abducted Italians Bosusco Paolo, 54, and Claudio Colangelo, from a forested area on the border of state’s Ganjam and Kandhamal district March 14.

On Saturday, the rebels kidnapped ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Jhina Hikaka in Koraput district.

The kidnapping of 37-year-old Hikaka took place even as the government was holding dialogue with the rebels through their mediators for the release of the Italians.

The government also promised that there would be no coercive action by the security forces as long as there is no violence from the Maoists.

The rebels have set 13 demands for the release of hostages including a ban on the visit of tourists to the tribal areas, halt to anti-Maoist operations, and release of several prisoners.

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