NEW DELHI (AP) – Officials says suspected Maoist rebels have kidnapped a local lawmaker in India’s Orissa state, where two Italian men were abducted by rebels last week.
State official Naveen Patnaik told reporters that Jhina Hikaka was abducted by armed men before dawn on Saturday. The kidnapping took place in the state’s Koraput district.
Rebel negotiators have been talking to officials since Thursday to discuss the release of the two Italians who were abducted on March 14 in a separate part of Orissa. The rebels have demanded the release of their imprisoned comrades.
The rebels have been fighting in several Indian states for more than four decades demanding land and jobs for farmers and the poor.