Italian Tourist Abduction by Maoist

The recent issue of Italian tourist abduction by Maoist has sparked great concerns among the State Police and Central Government, with the view of India’s relationships worsening with Italy in the years to come. According to the reports of Odisha Police, two Italian tourists have been allegedly abducted by the Maoists from the tribal dominated border area in Odisha, Kandhamal- Ganjam on March 17, 2012. Home Secretary, U N Behera, confirmed this news of abduction one day later. The abduction of these foreign tourists has been self-claimed by the Maoists of the Kandhamal and Ganjam districts, through private news channels around March 17, 2012 midnight. The police reported that the border area is being closely monitored, with no detailed information available.

In the Maoist’s communication with the television channels, they claimed that the Italian tourists have been taken as hostage, while supposedly capturing objectionable photographs of the tribals in the interior areas, in spite of the ban on such activities by the State Government. The Maoists have also put forward a 13-point demand charter in lieu of the release of hostages. According to the sources, the conditions include a stop to the anti-Naxal operations in the area, withdrawal of any case against the tribal people hold in jails in the name of Maoists, and execution of an agreement with the rebels for releasing the then collector of Malkangiri district in February last year.

The Superintendent of Police at Kandhamal confirmed that two Italian tourists, in addition to few other tour operators from Puri, came to Daringibadi, a popular tourist spot in Kandhamal, on March 12, 2012. The police had warned them about the Maoist menace in the area, but in vain. A ‘broad arrangement’ has been arrived at for the release of Italian tourist abduction by Maoist; however, no clear picture has yet been reported to the media. After a 90 minutes meeting with the rebel mediators, Home Secretary U N Behera is expected to reach to some broad arrangements on some of the demands of the Maoist. Although one of the tourists has already been released on March 25 as goodwill gesture, Paolo Bosusco is still in the captivity of the Maoists.

Meetings have been conducted with Maoist mediators, and it is being expected that the results will come out good. Since the entire issue is quite sensitive, the matter needs to be discussed upfront to arrive at some solution, reported an official. Now, it is a matter to see what happens to the case of Italian tourist abduction by Maoist.