Two Italian tourists along with their Indian guide were kidnapped by Maoists. Later the Indian was released but the foreign tourists detained.
India awoke to the kidnap of two Italian tourists along with their Indian accomplice on Saturday from the Kandhmal-Ganjam border of Odisha. The two identified as Boscusco Paolo, has been visiting Odisha since 1999 and runs a travel agency in Puri that takes foreign tourists on tribal tours. The other, Clandio Colangilo, is a tourist. Their Indian accomplice Santosh Maharana, was also kidnapped but later released. The released ascertained that they were all treated well and given good food. "The state government has expressed willingness to hold talks with Maoists who have, however, not named any mediators nor spelt out their demands," said UN Behera, Home Secretary, Odisha.
The Maoists say the duo were taking objectionable pictures of tribal women. Late Saturday night, the Maoists sent an audio message to NDTV claiming responsibility. "We have arrested two Italian tourists who like hundreds of foreign tourists ... treat the local people as monkeys and objects of ridicule. This is against humanity and we want the people at large to rise against this," the Maoists said in the audio message.
The Maoists on Sunday, as per a source, demanded immediate halt to combing operations and releasing three people from jail - Gananath Patra, Sabyasachi's wife Subhashree Panda and Ashutosh Soren. They also wanted the government to act on the 13-point charter of demands, which include the long-standing demands like the release of political prisoners and the halt to Operation Greenhunt. The Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condemned the kidnap and expressed the government’s willingness for negotiations with in the gambit of law. (With inputs from internet- AarKay)