Maoist rebels free Italian tour guide Paolo Bosusco

NEW DELHI Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:48am IST

1 of 2. Freed Italian tour guide Paolo Bosusco (L), who was taken hostage by Maoist rebels, is accompanied by Italian ambassador to India Giacomo Sanfelice di Monteforte upon his arrival at the New Delhi airport from Bhubaneswar April 12, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Maoist rebels freed Italian tour guide Paolo Bosusco on Thursday, almost a month after kidnapping him in a remote part of Orissa in what was believed to be the first seizure of a foreigner by the leftist guerrillas.

Also known as Naxals, the rebels have fought for decades in a swathe of central and eastern India, including many resource-rich regions, where tension runs high between poor farmers and industrial developers.

Television footage showed Bosusco, in a pink T-shirt and beige trousers torn at the knees, carrying a black rucksack on his shoulders as he walked through villages. He later arrived in Bhubaneshwar.

"I am finally free," Bosusco said by telephone to Italian state-owned RAI television. "I am strong, it's all finished and everything is OK."

In response to rebel demands, the authorities freed a Maoist leader's wife from prison and promised to facilitate the release of several imprisoned rebels and their supporters.

Bosusco was handed to a mediator who had travelled to a remote camp where he was being held late on Wednesday. The Italian Foreign Ministry said Indian authorities had informed the ambassador of the release.

Bosusco was seized in Orissa, along with another Italian, Claudio Colangelo, on March 14 during a visit to indigenous tribes. Colangelo was handed to a group of reporters on March 25.

The fighters said they detained the Italians because they were taking photographs of tribeswomen bathing in a river, an accusation Colangelo denied after his release.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calls the Maoists India's main internal security threat and an obstacle to higher growth and more jobs in Asia's third-largest economy.

Hundreds of people are killed every year in the conflict, although levels of violence have fallen in recent years.

On March 24, another group of Maoists kidnapped Jhina Hikaka, a state legislator, adding to the tension.

The Maoists say they are fighting for the rights of millions of landless tribal people. Apart from prisoner releases, the Orissa Maoists have also demanded an end to tourism in parts of the state where tribal people live.

(Additional reporting by Catherine Hornby in ROME; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Satarupa Bhattacharjya; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Robert Birsel)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

TOP SHOWCASE

Gaza Violence

Gaza Violence

Israel strikes house of Hamas Gaza leader, digs in for long fight.  Full Article 

Ferry Disaster

Ferry Disaster

Doomed South Korean ferry boss's driver turns himself in.  Full Article 

Cyber Surveillance

Cyber Surveillance

U.S. senator to propose strong curbs on NSA phone data collection.  Full Article 

India in England

India in England

Bell recaptures form as England punish India.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Nigeria isolates hospital in Lagos as Obama briefed on Ebola outbreak.  Full Article 

Anti-trust Probe

Anti-trust Probe

Microsoft targeted in apparent Chinese anti-trust probe.  Full Article 

Proteas on Top

Proteas on Top

S.Africa secure draw to reclaim top test ranking.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage