Bhubaneswar/Berhampur (Odisha): Two Italian tourists have been
abducted by Maoists from the tribal-dominated Kandhamal-Ganjam border area
in Odisha, said police on Sunday, which is monitoring the situation
"There is information about abduction of two persons by Maoists in
Kandhamal district. Further details are awaited," director general of
police Manmohan Praharaj said.
Home secretary UN Behera on Sunday confirmed the incident and said the
abduction took place last night.
Kandhamal district collector RP Patil said the incident was believed to
have taken place in the bordering area of Kandhamal and Ganjam districts
and the situation was being closely monitored though no detailed
information was available immediately.
The abduction of the foreign tourists was claimed by Maoists through some
private news channels around midnight last night, sources said.
In their communication to the TV channels, the Maoists claimed that the
foreigners were taken hostage while allegedly taking objectionable
photographs of tribals in interior areas despite a ban by the state
government on such activities.
The Maoists have reportedly put forward a 13-point charter of demands for
release of the hostages.
The conditions include halt to anti-Naxal operations, withdrawal of cases
against tribal people lodged in jails 'in the name of Maoists' and
implementation of the 'agreement' with the rebels for the release of the
then collector of Malkangiri district in February last year, the sources
Superintendent of police (Kandhamal) JN Pankaj said two Italian tourists
along with some tour operators from Puri had come to Daringibadi, a
tourist spot in Kandhamal district on March 12, but the police had warned
them against Maoist menace in the area.