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PLEAS TO RELEASE HOSTAGES IN INDIA ARE UNANSWERED

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Nearly one year after her husband was taken hostage by Kashmiri separatists, Jane Schelly arrived in their stronghold Tuesday to plead for his release.

But the kidnappers did not immediately respond to the Spokane, Wash., woman's appeal to free Donald Hutchings and three other Western hostages.On Monday, Schelly met with a top Indian official in New Delhi and urged the Al-Faran militants to release the captives. But her appeal did not appear in Kashmiri newspapers Tuesday, or on the BBC and Voice of America radio reports the people listen to.

Soon after her arrival in Srinagar, the summer capital of the northern state of Jammu-Kashmir, Schelly met with local government officials accompanied by U.S. diplomats.

She was expected to make a public appeal Wednesday in Srinagar, which is in Kashmir Valley, a rural area where many villages support the state's guerrilla groups.

Schelly said Monday that if she fails to secure the release of the hostages by July 4, the day her husband was kidnapped, she will travel to neighboring Pakistan, which supports Kashmiri separatists, and appeal for Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's help.

But newspapers and radio stations in Pakistan didn't carry stories Tuesday about Schelly's plans, either.

After meeting with her, an Indian official in Srinagar admitted that the government doesn't know where the hostages are or what has happened to them. He spoke on condition of anonymity.

Hutchings, 42; Keith Mangan, 33, of Middlesbrough, England; Paul Wells, 23, of London; and Dirk Hasert, 26, of Erfurt, Germany, were kidnapped by the little-known Al-Faran militant group.

A month later, a fifth tourist, Hans Christian Ostro, 27, of Norway, was decapitated by the rebels.