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Orissa govt ready to hold talks with Naxals

February 24, 2008 20:45 IST

Nine days after Maoists attacked armouries and police stations in Nayagarh district, the Orissa government on Sunday expressed its readiness to hold talks with the ultras if they gave up arms and shunned violence.

"My government is always prepared for dialogue with the Naxals, but first they should give up arms and the path of violence," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters after reviewing the ongoing combing operation against Maoists at a high-level meeting here.

Combing and search operations have so far led to the recovery of 80 per cent of the arms and weapons and 75 per cent of the ammunition looted by Maoists from the armouries in Nayagarh, he said.

The weapons recovered from the forest areas included a large number of extremely sophisticated arms like Insas rifles, Self Loading Rifles and Revolvers, Patnaik said.

In addition, some weapons which were being used by the Naxals before the Nayagarh incident have also been recovered during the combing operation, he said.

The meeting detailed deliberations on various aspects of strengthening security cover for armouries and police stations, besides recruitment and training of police personnel, official sources said.

The Central Reserve Police Force, Special Operation Group, Greyhound personnel and state police are involved in combing operations in different areas of Ganjam, Kandhamal, Gajapati and Nayagarh districts to nab the Maoists.

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