The second and final phase of the state assembly elections in Chhattisgarh will be held on Tuesday, November 20, in the northern districts of the state. The first phase, held on November 12 in southern districts, saw a high turnout (close to 70 percent) despite a call to boycott by leaders of an ongoing Maoist insurgency, and regular attacks. Voting passed off peacefully overall, apart from the explosion of an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Dantewada district, which did not result in casualties.
The authorities deployed 100,000 security personnel to southern Chhattisgarh to assist with peacekeeping efforts during the elections and a similar deployment can be expected in the north. Further violence cannot be ruled in the run-up to November 20.
The Maoist insurgency has been active for several decades in rural areas of the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkand, Odisha, Bihar, and West Bengal, as well as in the border region around Andhra Pradesh. An estimated 6000 people have died in the past 20 years, though activities have decreased recently due, in part, to a security crackdown. Restrictions on the movement of foreigners are in place for some rural areas of eastern India, including parts of Chhattisgarh.
Individuals in Chhattisgarh state are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid polling sites and public demonstrations due to the risk of violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities (e.g. travel restrictions). Remain vigilant for potential militant activity, particularly if planning on traveling to rural areas.
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