Maoists free one Italian hostage, no trace of MLA

The Maoists on Sunday released one of the two Italians they had abducted from the Kandhamal -Ganjam border in Orissa on March 14 Claudio Colangelo walked to safety with a group of journalists who had gone into the forest at the invitation of the insurgents.

“I feel good. It’s finished. I am very happy. I will soon meet my family.” said Colangelo after trekking to freedom after 11 days as hostage.

The Maoists, however, continue to hold the other Italian, Bosusco Paolo, as well as Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka, captive, even as fissures between the Andhra and Orissa Maoists became all clear with insurgent leader Sabyasachi Panda condemning Hikaka’s abduction on Sunday.
“The reels tried to give us good hospitality. They did not hurt us,” said Colangelo. A doctor checked him in Berhampur and found his alright.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik appealed the rebels to immediately free the other two hostages. “They should inform us about Hikaka’s whereabouts so that negotiations can begin for his release, unharmed,” he said, shortly after Colangelo was set free.

Sabyasachi Panda condemned the killing of a policeman in Malkangiri as well as the MLA’s kidnapping and admitted that it was the result of fissures within the Maoists. Panda blamed the Andhra-Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee for violating his call for ceasefire but said no violaence would take place in Kandhamal, Gajapati, Ganjam and Rayagada districts, where he operates.

Colangelo(60), a native of Rocca Di Papa, Rome, said he wants to return home “the sooner the better”, but added that he would love to revisit India. “I would love to come back to India. But may be I would not be foolish to visit Maoist areas,” he told journalists at Sorada where cops quizzed him on the kidnapping.

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