Odisha does not want foreigners in Maoist-affected areas

May 04, 2012, 03:47 IST | IANS

Odisha has decided to discourage visits by foreigners to Maoist-affected areas, Tourism Minister Prafulla Samal said Thursday.

"We will tell all the tour operators not to take foreign tourists, for the time being, to the areas which are sensitive," he told reporters.

The state government's move came after the Maoists abducted two Italians Claudio Colangelo and Paolo Bosusco from Kandhamal district March 14 and released them several weeks later after the government agreed to some of their demands.

Colangelo and Paolo were released March 25 and April 12, respectively. The rebels also abducted Jhina Hikaka, a legislator, March 24 from Koraput district. He was freed April 26.

The Maoists are active in 26 of the state's 30 districts.

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