President Pratibha Patil on Friday asked the Naxalites to shun violence and come forward for talks and join hands with the government to usher progress for the tribal population which they represent.

“I would like to urge Naxalites and those involved in violent acts to shun violence, talk and think appropriately and get involved in the mainstream of the society to ensure progress for their own tribal population,” she said.

Ms. Patil, who reached the Chhattisgarh capital today on a two-day official visit, was addressing the legislators at the state Assembly hall here.

Expressing grief over the spate of recent Naxal violence in which a number of people were killed, the president said the biggest of problems can be resolved through “talks and communication.”

“Maintenance of peace and its continuance is very essential for the progress of the country,” she said before inaugurating the newly-constructed central hall in the Assembly complex.

Ms. Patil also expressed concern over prevalence of social evils like dowry, child marriage, female foeticide and said awareness and education against these issues should be spread.

She said fruits of economic development should reach each and every sections of the society.