India: “Third Maoist letter to Odisha CM; Abducted MLA requests CM to release tribals jailed on fabricated charges”

Odisha Diary, Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Report by Manoranjan Routray; Koraput : The media in Koraput today received a third letter from the CPI (Maoist) Party regarding release of kidnapped BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka. The letter, addressed to media persons, lashes out at the Naveen Patnaik Government for deliberate inaction on demands stated by CPI (Maoist) Party in exchange of the release of the captive BJD MLA. CPI (Maoist) Party has criticized Government for repeatedly sending requests for appointing negotiators despite the Party’s clear statement that they do not want any mediators and expect the Government to use mediapersons to convey their willingness to act on demands released by the Party to the media ten days ago.

It may be recalled that leader of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) Narayanpatna Nachika Linga had already given a statement in media that their organisation has nothing to do with kidnapping of the BJD MLA. In this context the Party letter asks why then is the Government repeatedly asking for the mediation of CMAS in the matter of release of the captive BJD MLA ? The Party therefore concludes that the Government is trying to buy time by deliberately delaying decision on mediation and action on the stated demands. The letter asks media to reflect whether Government, which is repeatedly asking the CPI (Maoist) Party to abjure violence, is itself bound to this principle ? And whether or not the State is indulging in violence by launching combing operations ?

The letter accuses the Government of using images of a fraught and weeping wife and son of Jhina Hikaka along with his family members in media channels to generate public sympathy and divert attention. But it asks whether the Government has the same sympathy for the family of those innocent tribals whom it has imprisoned using false and fabricated cases ?

While reiterating their earlier stated demands, the Party letter adds that they are ready to release the captive BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka if the Naveen Patnaik Government unconditionally releases all those people lodged in Malkangiri and Koraput jails who have been slapped with false cases on them. The letter also warns that in the face of deliberate delay the Government would have to face the dire consequences. The letter, dated 2nd April 2012, is signed off by Jagabandhu, an authorized spokesperson for the Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee and is written in Telegu.

Along with this letter, media also received a handwritten letter of BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka addressed to the Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. In the letter the MLA assured of his good health and expressed anguish at the delay of the Government in making proactive efforts for his release. He urged the Chief Minister to concede to CPI (Maoist) Party’s demand of unconditionally releasing innocent tribals lodged in jails having been slapped with false and fabricated cases on them. He also hopes that if the Government concedes to this demand then he may be released soon by the CPI (Maoist) Party. He also lashes out that since he is a tribal, Government is deliberately dragging its feet on matter of his release. He warns the Chief Minister that if the Government does not act fast to secure his release from captivity, he would be forced to resign from his Laxmipur Assembly seat as he would have failed in his responsibilities towards his people as a tribal MLA.

It may be recalled that the BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka was kidnapped by armed cadres of CPI (Maoist) Party on 24th March 2012 at about midnight at Toyaput village while he was on his way home from Semiliguda after attending a political meeting there.

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