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25 March 2012

Italians Kidnapped by Maoists in Odisha....

I am sure all of you have read the news item about two Italians, Bosusco Paulo and Claudio Colangelo, having been kidnapped by Maoists in Kandhamal district in Odisha. This district is notorious for Maoist infestation and even Indians are scared of travelling to these places.
These two guys illegally went into the jungles and got kidnapped by the Maoists (as expected). Now Italian government is putting pressure on the Government of India to get these guys released from Maoists.
I presume that ultimately Maoists will release these guys. In the process will win some brownie points with the media and government and help internationalize the Maoist problem.
Finally, after achieving their public relations goals, probably they will release these Italians. In fact they have released one of them, Claudio Colangelo as of today.
I find it frustrating that these Westerners who travel to our country do not follow the basic security precautions. It seems that this guy, Claudio Colangelo, was determined to ignore all the warning signs. He wanted to go into the deep jungles of Odisha and approached many travel agencies. All of them refused to take the trip citing Maoist threats. Finally he went with an illegal travel agent Paolo, who agreed to take him
You can read the story here
Over the last 4 years I have extensively traveled across the world. Before I go to any country, I go thru travel advisories put up by various travel sites about what to do and what not to do in that country. The travel advisories are very specific about which areas to avoid when you are visiting a new country.
For example, when I was visiting Colombia, I was asked not to got to the some parts of Colombia because those areas are infested with rebels and Government forces are engaged in continual fight with the rebels.
I am sure such travel advisories exist about India and they specifically mention about Maoist threats in parts of Odisha.
What does it say to you about the security status when most of the travel agents (who are always looking to make more Foreign Currency revenue) refuse to take you to some parts of their state? Shouldn't you be smart enough to know that probably the public wisdom is correct and that you should avoid these places?
If I were the Italian Tourist, I would avoid such places.
No, not these silly Italians. They want to prove that they are superior and they can go to dangerous areas and come out 'victorious'. So they violate the law, uses an illegal travel agent and get kidnapped by the Maoists.
Do they have any idea of what they have done? What are the possible implications of their hasty, thoughtless and hare-brained action. Probably the travel agent who took them to the jungles will get arrested and spent his life in Jail. The Italian Diplomats will have to work overtime and answer many questions from their probing Indian counterparts.
And finally these 'courageous westerners' will have to spent nights and days in Odisha Jungles, being bitten by mosquitoes and relieving themselves in the God's universe....
Some would say that justice is delivered to these silly guys...

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