A few days before the start of parliamentary elections in India, security forces shot and killed 29 suspected Maoist rebels.

Three members of state units were also injured during the operation, local media such as the “Indian Express” reported, citing the security authorities. The incident occurred on Tuesday in the Kanker district of Chhattisgarh state. It was said that a number of rebel weapons had been seized.

The Maoists are active in forest areas in several Indian states. They reject parliamentary democracy and say they fight for the poor indigenous rural population. Chhattisgarh is particularly affected by the insurgency. According to data from a portal on terrorism in South Asia (South Asia Terrorism Portal, or SATP) run by a think tank in New Delhi, there were particularly many deaths in violent incidents involving Maoists in India between 2005 and 2011: more than 600 died each year and more than 1,100 civilians, security forces and Maoists. The numbers have now fallen. This year, before the latest incident, 98 deaths had been recorded in connection with clashes between Moisten and security forces.

Home Minister Amit Shah congratulated the forces involved on Platform X on the successful operation. He promised that the entire country would be free from Maoist rebels in the future under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Parliamentary elections begin on Friday in India, the world’s most populous country. More than 900 million people will be called to vote in staggered stages. The election lasts a total of six weeks. The results are expected in June.

Report Indian Express Tweet Home Minister SATP data