04/26/2012, 00.00
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Orissa, tribal lawmaker kidnapped by Maoists freed

Jhina Hikaka was in rebel hands since April 24. A "people's court" of 250 people decided his release, after his promise to resign from Legislative Assembly of Koraput and leave the BJD (Biju Janata Dal), the ruling party.

Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Maoists have released Jhina Hikaka, a tribal Parliamentarian from Orissa, kidnapped more than a month ago. In an audio message Aruna, leader of the rebel group, said the decision to release the man was taken by a "people's court" of 250 people, after Hikaka has promised to resign from the Legislative Assembly of Koraput, where is elected, and as a member of the BJD (Biju Janata Dal, the ruling party in Orissa).

Hikaka was kidnapped March 24 last by the Maoist group Andhra Odisha Border Special Zone Committee (Aobszc). This is a rival faction to that of Sabyasachi Panda, the Odisha State Organising Committee (Osoc), that the March 14 Paolo Bosusco kidnapped and Claudio Colangelo in the district of Kandhamal. Colangelo was released March 25, Bosusco April 12.

Several members of the opposition believe that failed agreements between the government and Maoists in Orissa are behind the seizure of the MP. In exchange for electoral support, the ruling party BJD (the same as the kidnapped MP, ed) had secured the release of three Maoist cadres and stopped the anti-Maoist operation Green Hunt.


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