Govt willing to talk to Naxals if they give up arms: Rajnath

 Asking Maoists to shun the path of violence, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said Government was willing to talk to Naxals provided they give up arms and come to the negotiating table.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 12, 2014, 19:12 PM IST

New Delhi: Asking Maoists to shun the path of violence, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said Government was willing to talk to Naxals provided they give up arms and come to the negotiating table.

Singh was addressing a news conference here on completion of 100 days of his ministry during which he spoke on a wide range of issues including prospects of holding talks with Pakistan, border and internal security situation and visa regulation.

On the Naxal issue, the Home Minister categorically said that talks with Left Wing Extremists were possible if they shun the path of violence.

"We are ready to talk to anyone who leave the path of violence. We have even asked their ideologues to come to negotiating table," he said.

On possible talks with his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan during the forthcoming SAARC meeting in Nepal, Singh said if neighbours work on expected lines, talks are not impossible.

"Padosi agar apeksha ke anuroop kaam karen, toh baatcheet kyun nahi ho sakti (if neighbours work on expected lines, then why can't talks take place)," Singh replied.

Singh said that the first 100 days of his ministry were focused on fulfilling the promises made by the BJP in its election manifesto which included working out steps for return of Kashmiri migrants to the Valley.

"We have ensured that there is no mismatch between words and deeds," he said.

He said the Government has earmarked Rs 500 crore for rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants and talks were underway with all stake holders for building confidence among them to return to the Valley.

The Home Minister, in response to a question, said the Kashmiri migrants did not include Pandits only but also Sikhs and members of other groups who had left the Valley after the onset of militancy in late 1989.

Singh said that during the course of the first 100 days there had been 132 surrenders among the naxal ranks which was a 300 per cent jump compared to the corresponding period last year.

He said the Government had cleared a vital plan for erecting 2,199 mobile towers in naxal-hit areas to ensure better communication facility in those places. "The work has already begun on this by the department of telecom," he added.

On matters of internal security, the Home Minister said a Maritime police training centre will be set up in Gujarat. "I have asked the Gujarat Government to procure the land at the earliest so that other funds could be released."

Taking a cue from the misuse of fishing boats and 'dhows' during the Mumbai terror attack, the minister said the Government has started the process of identification of the crew and persons boarding such vessels.

Singh said he had written to all state governments for making police stations more "women friendly" and also increase the strength of female staff.

An advisory has been issued to the state governments and union territories requesting them to ensure that 33 per cent of posts in the police forces are filled up by women upto the level of Sub-inspector.

"We have also asked that facilities like toilets, restrooms should be provided in police stations for women police personnel to ensure stress free working environment and mitigate the problems faced by them due to long working hours," he said.