Dumka: Terming the fighting naxalism not just as a gun battle, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said that it is a psychological battle therefore violence is not the apt way to shun rebels.

He said that proper education and development are the tools to check Naxalism and poverty.

The Union Minister further asked the Maoists to drop guns and join the mainstream of the society saying there is no place for violence in the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Gautam Buddha.

“It is war of ideology. Government’s doors are always open for any extremist to join the democratic process by contesting elections,” Ramesh said.

He said this during his visit to Dhaka village in Jharkhand’s Dumka district.

He, however, accepted that the government has failed to tackle the menace through rapid progressive work.

“All round development work would help tribals in Jharkhand, where 10 lakh families whose land was acquired over the years were still to be rehabilitated,” Ramesh said.

Out of the total 78 Maoist-hit districts in the country, 17 districts are in Jharkhand, three are in West Bengal, nine in Bihar, 10 in Chhattisgarh, 18 in Odisha, eight in MP, eight in Andhra Pradesh and two in Maharashtra.

Pitching for 75 percent reservation for women in tribal communities in different fields to speed up developmental programmes, Ramesh said that efforts should be made to enable 80 percent profit to women SHGs involved in sericulture business.

A total 65,000 families are involved in sericulture in Jharkhand, out of which 10,000 are from Dumka district alone.

(JPN/Bureau)