The central government is all set to extinguish naxalism. Having already achieved success in military operations and encounters against left wing radicals, the government along with its agencies is now planning to take the fight onto the next level.
As per reports, National Investigation Agency (NIA) has planned to choke funding to naxals and has devised a strategy to attack their financial system. It has also been learnt that crucial information about the finances in 90 naxal-affected districts. It has been disclosed by NIA in accordance with the information collected by it that naxalites have invested their finances in properties, businesses, industries and jewelries.
The report has also disclosed that the naxals still use shoddy methods for hiding their funds. They use polythene bags and tin boxes and hide them in jungles. The fact that such crucial information has been obtained about the methods of naxal funding as well as their methods of hiding their funds goes on to show that naxal funds are now prone to surveillance and seizure by authorities.
This is not for the first time that a government agency has conducted investigations into naxal funding. In July this year, it had been reported that the government had set up teams to choke naxal funding. The union ministry for home affairs had formed multi-disciplinary groups consisting officers from IB, NIA, ED, DRI and state police. The idea was that having reduced naxalism in size, it is now necessary to check funding of naxalism which is estimated to be over Rs. 125 crore annually. The object was to ensure that naxalism is confined in its effect and to make sure that they are no longer able to spread the area of their activity. It was discovered that major sources of naxal funding were private contractors, including those who execute government works, mining, small and medium industries and transporters are siphoned off for personal use, which is contrary to the ideology they portray to win over gullible villagers and tribals.
NIA has also reaffirmed the urban links of naxals and has also exposed how urban centres are catering to naxal funding. It has come to light that naxals keep their funds with their urban counterparts. These urban radicals keep these funds in safe custody and return them to naxal operatives only when they need it. Not only this, these urban naxals not only keep these funds in safe custody but also invest them in gold biscuits, bank fixed deposits and properties. And the intent is to ensure that sufficient interest is earned on these funds. Recently, Maoists like Sudhakar and Madhavi had sent Rs. 50 lakh and half kilogram of jewels to their families routed through a middleman. However, the government agencies were able to snap this link.
This homework that has been done by the NIA has been yielding prolific results for the NIA and recently chargesheeted three people in a naxal funding case. The money in question belonged to the CPI (Maoist).
The government, its agencies and the security forces have not only been able to discover the funding sources of naxal funding and the areas of its investment but have also been able to hit naxals where it hurts the most. The forces have been able to intercept as well as block areas of naxal funding. In March this year, it was reported that the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) managed to destroy illegal poppy cultivation of a mammoth 550 acres in Naxal affected areas of Bihar and Jharkhand. A loss to the tune of Rs. 55 crores had been inflicted on the naxals. Poppy cultivation is a major source of naxal funding and this must have broken their back. It goes on to show that the agencies are not only collecting intelligence inputs as far as naxal funding is concerned but also clamping down in a big way.
Former BSF Director General had once stated, “You choke their (Maoist) finance and ammunition and they are finished.” It seems that the government is working on this principle only. Security forces and local police forces have already achieved phenomenal success as far as cutting naxalism to size is concerned. Now, the focus of the government is on giving a final blow to the naxals by intercepting their funding and investment links.