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Maoists release Odisha legislator Hikaka

 

Reporters and photographers surrounded a relieved and healthy looking Hikaka as he came with a group of villagers to a mango garden at Balipeta, over 500 km from here, at about 10.30 am. 
 
Emotions ran high when the 37-year-old Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator, wearing a green kurta, hugged his wife Kaushalya and seconds after both broke down in tears. 
 
 

Freedom at last: Biju Janata Dal legislator Jhina Hikaka  (File photo)

"We're glad that he is safe and unharmed," party colleague Baijayant Panda told reporters.
 
The left-wing extremists, who kidnapped Hikaka from Laxmipur in Koraput March 24, had Wednesday announced that a 'praja', people's, court decided to release him after he apologised to the rebels and the local villagers.
 
A Maoist leader calling herself 'Aruna', in an audio message aired by a local television channel here, had said the decision to release him was taken after he promised to resign from the assembly and the primary membership of the ruling BJD.

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