The Centre is open for holding talks with the Maoists and is not even asking the banned outfit to lay down arms, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken said on Sunday.
"The Centre is ready for talks. We don't even ask them to lay down their arms. But they should shun violence before coming up for dialogue," Maken told reporters here.
The Maoists should take the opportunity to settle issues, he said.
Maken said the police were being modernised and efforts were on to train them in jungle warfare.
"Two of the six COBRA battalions are ready and the third will take guard by March next," he said.