High drama marks Bosusco's release

High drama marks Bosusco's release

The Italian hostage Paolo Bosusco’s release by his Maoist captors was marked by a high voltage drama involving the media representatives, particularly from TV channels, and Dandapani Mohanty, the Naxal interlocutors who had played a key role to free the foreign national.

As Mohanty had already given clear hints while speaking to media on Wednesday about Paolo’s possible release on Thursday - he had said he was quite sure that the Italian would be released by Thursday evening -  large number of media people from national and local TV channels had already gathered at Daringibadi, the expected place of the release in Kandhamal district since early Thursday morning. However, while the media people were eagerly waiting at Daringibadi, Mohanty drove Basusco to Bhubaneswar through another route via Raikia in the same Kandhamal district.

After arriving in the capital, the Naxal mediator told reporters that it was Sabyasachi Panda, the secretary of  Maoists’ Odisha state committee and the brain behind the Italians’ kidnapping, who had advised him to take a separate route and drive straight to Bhubaneswar. 

“I had a discussion with Panda and his colleagues inside the forest near Raikia late on Wednesday night. I told them to release the Italian immediately on humanitarian ground as he was our guest. Panda told me to drive straight to capital Bhubaneswar and hand the Italian over to the Home Secretary U N Behera at the state guest house”, Mohanty said.

The Maoists, however, had allowed only one reporter of a local TV channel to accompany Mohanty to shoot the entire handover proceeding inside the jungle. Earlier, while releasing Colangelo, the Naxals had invited three TV channels. In fact, the Italian hostage was handed over to the media representatives.

Panda in an audio message on Wednesday had indicated that he would be releasing Paolo only after the court’s judgment on the bail plea of woman Maoist Aarti Majhi on Thursday. 

Aarti had figured in the list of six persons the state government had announced to free in exchange of Paolo’s release. However, the Italian was set free much before the judge of a lower court in Paralakhemundi in Gajapati district pronounced his judgment on the bail application.

In fact, Mohanty said, Panda and his colleagues while speaking to him on Wednesday night expressed their anger over the manner in which the state government had begun the process to release their colleagues from the prisons. 

“They wanted that instead of asking their colleagues to go on bail, the state government should withdraw the cases against them which will ease their release process”, the Maoist interlocutor said. 

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