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Apr 11, 2012 at 10:55am IST

Odisha hostage crisis: Will free hostage if govt abides by agreement, says Panda

Bhubaneswar: A breakthrough seems to be in sight in the Odisha hostage crisis. Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda in his latest audio message has said that he will free abducted Italian Paolo Boscusco if the government honoured its agreement signed with the negotiators.

In a new audio tape released by the Naxal leader, he claims that the Italian tourist himself wants the government to release one tribal woman before he is freed.

ALSO SEE Odisha hostage crisis: Experts slam state government for bowing to Naxals

Panda said that if the government obeys their pact, then the Italian hostage will soon be released.

This came a day after his wife Subhashree Panda was acquitted. Subhashree Panda was arrested and jailed in 2010 in connection with an encounter case.

However, there was no clarity on the release of BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka, who has been held hostage by another faction of Naxals.

Meanwhile, the Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha has come under attack with experts saying it must stop giving in to the demands of the Naxals.

The Naxals' deadline for the government to release 30 jailed cadres in exchange for abducted MLA Jhina Hikaka and Italian tourist Paolo Boscusco ended on Tuesday.

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