Dantewada (Chhattisgarh): The future lies in peace and not in violence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Saturday, hours after Maoist rebels took some people “hostage” in the state.

Addressing a public rally in the Maoist-infested Dantewada, Modi said: “There is no future in violence. If there is a future, it is in peace.”

Chhattisgarh has the “power to change the future of India”, he said. He also announced the investment of Rs.24,000 crore in the Bastar region.

“Perhaps it is for the first time that in a programme like this MoUs worth Rs.24,000 crore have been signed. This will change Bastar’s future,” Modi said.

“Send iron out and get steel from outside. This would go on but now this has to stop. We will make steel from the iron ore,” the prime minister said.

Inspector General (IG) of Bastar I.G Kalluri told mediapersons that five to six people have been held by the Maoists.

Earlier, media reports said around 500 people were held captive by the Maoists in Marenga village when they were on their way to attend Modi’s rally here.

The union home ministry also dismissed the hostage-like situation in the state.