Centre sets up multi-agency groups to choke Maoists’ funding

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New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) The central government has set up multi-disciplinary groups to choke the flow of funds to the Maoist insurgents, estimated to be crores of rupees annually, an official source said on Tuesday.

The Home Ministry has formed groups comprising officers from the Intelligence Bureau, National Investigation Agency, Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, and state police to tackle the menace.

The Ministry said the Maoist movement is financed through a network of dubious activities undertaken by its leaders in execution of government works and schemes, mining contractors, and others.

A process has also been initiated to create a separate vertical in the NIA for investigating important cases relating to Left Wing Extremism (LWE), a senior Home Ministry official involved in anti-Maoist operations said.

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“The central and state agencies have been coordinating and holding regular meetings. Painstaking work by government agencies to gather actionable intelligence has resulted in substantial progress on this front,” the official said.

The steps are among the moves initiated by the Home Ministry to choke the financial lifeline to the Maoists and also ensure seizure/confiscation of properties of leaders of banned outfits, the official said.

The Ministry has found that a large part of the money collected by the Maoists is diverted towards personal wealth of some of their leaders whose children avail of best in education and their families live in comfort while the cadres toil in the jungles in the name of a twisted ideology.

It said investigations have revealed that Pradyuman Sharma, member of Bihar Jharkhand Special Area Committee (BJSAC), had paid Rs 22 lakh as admission fee for his niece in a private medical college in 2017.

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“Sandeep Yadav, another BJSAC member, gave Rs 15 lakh for exchange during demonetisation, said the Ministry, adding this was disclosed by a trader who was asked to exchange the demonetised currency.

Yadav’s daughter studied in a reputed private institute and his son is studying in another reputed private engineering college. Similarly, another senior LWE leader Arvind Yadav paid Rs 12 lakh towards fee for his brother to study in a private engineering college,” it added.

The Ministry further accused Maoist leadership of forcing children to join their squads and strongly resist all kind of developmental activities. They pursue double standards for their own children and family in providing them education and other facilities, it added.

–IANS

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