`We are ready for talks with naxals if they lay down arms'
StatementsSympathy should not be generated under the guise of rights violationRs. 2 lakh more for Menasinahadya victims under consideration
CHIKMAGALUR: D.H. Shankaramurthy, Minister for Higher Education, said here on Tuesday that the Government was prepared for talks with naxal leaders if they laid down their arms.
Speaking during a meet-the-press programme organised by the district journalists' association, Mr. Shankaramurthy said sympathy for naxalites should not be generated under the guise of human rights violation. No one had the right to violate human rights, he added.
Pointing out that naxal activities were a social menace, he reiterated that these activities should not be glorified. With regard to compensation paid to the family of a person who was killed by naxalites in Menasinahadya last year, he said Rs. 2 lakh had been paid and the Government was considering a proposal to grant another Rs. 2 lakh.
The Minister said a round of talks had been completed with the settlers who were to be evicted from the Sargod and Masagali forests following a Supreme Court order. He said land had been identified for their rehabilitation and the Government would approach the court seeking more time for their eviction. Highlighting the achievements of the coalition Government in the State, he said Rs. 80 crore due from the beneficiaries of the Bhagya Jyoti scheme had been written off.
He said Rs. 1,508 crore had been lent by the cooperative sector to about 4.5 lakh farmers at an interest rate of four per cent. The Government would deal with any objections from NABARD in this regard, he added.
Stating that there was scope for development for tourism in the district, Mr. Shankaramurthy said importance was being given to find a permanent solution to solve the drinking water problem in Kadur and Tarikere taluks. To a question, he said vested interests had created the Dattatreya Peeta controversy for vote-bank politics.