SC notice to Centre, Odisha on hostage crisis

SC notice to Centre, Odisha on hostage crisis

Court seeks response within two weeks over ex-Army officers plea to restrain release of jailed Maoists

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre and Odisha government on a petition seeking a direction to restrain the release of jailed Maoists in exchange for abducted Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Jhina Hikaka.

A bench of justices T S Thakur and Gyan Sudha Misra sought the response within 2 weeks on the petition filed by Major General (retd) Gangurdep Bakshi.

Bakshi’s counsel contended that the state government had decided not to oppose bail plea of incarcerated Maoists in an exercise in collusion with them.
The court then said that if that was the case then the petitioner should move the magisterial courts there to oppose those applications.

Solicitor General Rohinton Nariman claimed that the petitioner’s claim on formulation of a law to tackle the insurgency by the Maoists was a larger issue and could not be termed relevant to the present hostage crisis.

The court, which seemed initially not impressed with the arguments of the petitioner’s counsel, decided to issue notice seeking reply from th Centre and th state government.

In his petition, counter-insurgency expert Major General (retd) Bakshi had told the apex court that the Odisha government should be restrained from releasing the Naxals as they were captured by the security forces, who had to put their lives at stake to nab them.

He submitted that the guidelines framed by the apex court during the crisis arising out of the abduction of mega star Rajkumar should be followed and the Orissa government should not be allowed to relent for the sake of one person.

BJD MLA Jina Hikaka was kidnapped on 24 March from Koraput district when he was returning home to Laxmipur after a political meeting.

The petition had sought framing of guidelines to deal with the problem of Maoists insurgency, besides a direction to the Odisha government not to give in to the demands.

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