In Chhattisgarh, Rajnath tells Naxals shun violence for talks

Raipur (Chhattisgarh) : Calling upon people involved in Naxal activities to give up violence, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said if they are ready to give up violence, talks can take place with them, adding that violence has no place in a democracy.

“There is no doubt that Chhattisgarh and some other states, not all states but some of the districts, are affected by Maoists. Earlier too, I had appealed to the people involved in Maoist activities to leave the path of violence. If they are ready to give up violence, there can be talks with them, as violence has no place in democracy,” said Singh, who was on a visit to the state.

He, however warned, “I have also said they should give up violence or they will have to give it up.”

Patting Chief Minister Raman Singh’s back for carrying out developmental works in the state, the Home Minister said, “I am satisfied with the pace of development taking place in the Naxal-affected areas under Chief Minister Singh, and I understand that in coming years all underdeveloped areas will be developed.”

When asked whether the government was planning air operations in Naxal-hit areas as there has been training and preparations for air operations, Singh said there is nothing like that and added that he did not have more to say on this.

When told about a video released in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, where people were demanding freedom from Pakistan, Singh said, “I too have seen it, but as far as India is concerned, our effort is to improve the relationship between the two countries. Now, Pakistan needs to take the initiative, because we are making regular effort.”

“We don’t want to raise any question on sovereignty and self-respect of any country, but if some country tries to raise a question on India’s sovereignty and dignity, we will never tolerate it,” he added. (ANI)