New Delhi: The Maoist abductors of two Italian nationals on Tuesday forwarded the names of two new mediators after the state government rejected one and another of the three named earlier refused to participate in talks with the state. Meanwhile, the Naveen Patnaik government named three negotiators to hold discussions with the Maoists.
Speaking to reporters, Patnaik said, "One of the negotiators, Narayan Sanyal, is not acceptable to us as several cases are slapped against him."
The three new government negotiators are UN Behera, Principal Secretary, Home; PK Jena, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Panchayati Raj Department; SK Sarangi, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, ST and SC Development Department.
Patnaik further said that the government and the External Affairs ministry were not showing "urgency" in dealing with the hostage crisis issue. "Minister of External Affairs SM Krishna did not even attend to his call initially when the Italian tourist abduction took place," revealed Patnaik.
However, sources say that the Union Ministry believes that the Maoists have no intentions of harming the tourists, and hence, there is no need to display panic on the issue.
The sources added that there was no question of meeting any of the demands laid down by the Maoists.
The sources further said that it was the state government which would decide on the case, since law and order is a state subject. "In fact, some of the prisoners whose release has been demanded are in Chhatisgarh or Jharkhand prisons, their release is beyond the jurisdiction of the Orissa government," said one of them.
Meanwhile, the two new names forwarded by the Maoists for negotiations were that of D Sharma, a former bureaucrat and Prafulla Samantray, who is an activist.
They also extended the deadline for the government till Wednesday evening.