Bhubaneswar: Italian national Paolo Boscusco is believed to have been released by the Naxals in Odisha, according to sources. A formal announcement is awaited. Paolo Boscusco had been held hostage by the Odisha unit of the Naxals for the last 29 days.
His release came a day after Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda in his audio message had said that he would free the abducted if the government honoured its agreement signed with the negotiators. In the audio tape released by the Naxal leader, he claimed that the Italian tourist himself wanted the government to release one tribal woman before he is freed.
The government has agreed to free 27 jailed cadres.
Panda had said that if the government obeys their pact, then the Italian hostage would soon be released.
This came after his wife Subhashree Panda was acquitted. Subhashree Panda was arrested and jailed in 2010 in connection with an encounter case.
Two Italian nationals Paolo Boscusco and Claudia Colangelo were taken hostage by the Naxals on March 14 from Surada Police Station area which comes under the Ganjam District bordering Kandhamal.
The 61-year-old Colangelo, who was not keeping well, was released on March 25 and was handed over to a group of three journalists near Kandhamal.
However, there was no word yet on BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka who has been held hostage by another faction of the Naxals in Odisha.