Karnataka Govt invites Naxals for talks

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Madikeri, Nov 26 (UNI) The Karnataka government was willing to hold talks with Naxalites if they come to the negotiating table laying down arms, Home Minister V S Acharya said today.

Addressing mediapersons at Kodagu after handing over a cheque of Rs 5 lakh on behalf of the government to the bereaved family members of KSRP constable Guruprasad, who was killed by Naxals recently during an encounter, he said Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa had already announced his willingness to discuss the problems of the ultras if they shun violence and armed struggle.

Stating that his ministry has information that naxals were not targeting Karnataka, Dr Acharya said the government was capable of putting an end to stray incidents being reported since 2002.

He said ATF would be equipped with sophisticated weapons to ''tackle naxal situations''. They would be be provided better training also.

Dr Acharya alleged that ''a systematic racket'' was behind the naxal problem in the state and it would disclosed at an appropriate time.

He said the state government would pay Rs 25,000, as incentive to each of the 18 police personnel who fought naxals during a recent encounter in Chikamagalur District in which three ultras and constable Guruprasad were killed.

The Home Minister declared that the slain Guruprasad's parents will be given the salary of Guruprasad each month, calculating his service years. His sister who is working in CRPF in New Delhi will also be called back and the Centre would be requested to post her in Karnataka Police Department. The family would also be given another Rs three lakh through Group Insurance.

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