Sisters of Mother Teresa call on Maoists to free the two Italians
Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews) - The Sisters of Mother Teresa in Kandhamal are asking for the release of two kidnapped Italians in Orissa: "We, the Missionaries of Charity, committed to serving the poorest of the poor in Kandhamal, we ask you, our dear brothers and sisters that the two Italian tourists hostages, be released unconditionally. Their families and friends are suffering terribly. God bless you". This is the message of Sister M. Suma, regional superior of the Missionaries of Charity, launched through AsiaNews. Meanwhile, the local Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda has offered the release of one of the two hostages, provided that the government fulfills at least some of the 13 requests. The government responded by saying that it can not satisfy all the points. The proposal is contained in an audio tape delivered to CNN-Ibn and confirmed by AsiaNews sources. The message does not specify which of the two Italians, Paolo Bosusco or Claudio Colangelo, could be released.
Meanwhile, Naveen Patnaik, chief minister of Orissa, has accused the central government of doing nothing to free the hostages. "The Foreign Minister Krishna - Patnaik said - shows no urgency in resolving the case. He has not even responded to my initial request for intervention, when the abduction took place."
P Chidambaram, Minister of the Interior, responded to the accusations: "If these statements are true, I'm very sorry. I called Patnaik in person Sunday, March 18, and made no request of the central government. I do not think that the chief minister of a State should make such statements. "
Negotiations are moving forward. This morning the government of Orissa issued an arrest warrant for Sabyasachi and 26 other rebel Maoists. Yesterday evening, the rebel group has moved the date of the ultimatum, perhaps March 24. Speaking to AsiaNews R.P. Patil, District Collector of Kandhamal, does not explicitly confirm the day, "because I still can not provide further details," but is "confident that we will have more time to free the hostages, because the rebels have opened negotiations. We are dealing with this at a state level and trust in the three mediators. "
Yesterday Naveen Patnaik has confirmed the names of three persons who will act as negotiators for the State: A Behera, Secretary of the Interior, PK Jena, Secretary of the Department of Panchayati Raj, SK Sarangi, Secretary of the Department of Development.