Bhubaneswar, April 25 : Maoists who have held Odisha legislator Jhina Hikaka hostage for over a month will release him Thursday, a lawyer who fights cases for the rebels said Wednesday.

Nihar Ranjan Patnaik, based in Koraput district, told a TV channel that the rebels will set Hikaka free by 10 a.m. Thursday.

The rebels will hand him over to Patnaik and Kaushalya, the wife of the abducted Biju Janata Dal legislator, in Narayanpatna area of the district, the lawyer said quoting a Maoist leader.

However, there is still no official confirmation of the development. No audio tape has been released by the rebels.

The left-wing extremists, who kidnapped 37-year-old Hikaka from Laxmipur in Koraput March 24, had announced they will hold a 'people's court' Wednesday where his fate would be decided.


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