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How seizure of demonetised currency led to busting of terror funding by naxals

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New Delhi, Oct 22: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed its charge sheet against 11 persons accused in the Naxal terror funding case.

The 11 persons have been accused of raising funds through extortion/ levy collection and further legitimising this illegal money by investing in banking channels and dubious shell companies in the names of close associates and family members of Dinesh Gope, the supremo of the PLFI.

The case was first registered in Ranchi after demonetised currency to the tune of Rs 25.38 lakh had been seized from the operatives of the PLFI. They were depositing the money into the bank account of a Petrol Pump owned by one of the accused persons.

The NIA then took over the case and during investigation established that accused Vinod Kumar, Chandrashekhar Kumar, Nand Kishor Mahto, and Mohan Kumar were close associates of Dinesh Gope.

A criminal conspiracy:

A criminal conspiracy:

They were actively involved in the criminal conspiracy of raising terror funds for the PLFI and holding proceeds of terror. Investigation also revealed that Sumant Kumar , Nandlal Swarnkar , Chandra Shekhar Singh, Arun Gope, Jitender Kumar, Navinbhai Jayantibhai Patel, Dinesh Gope were also part of a criminal conspiracy relating to channelising of the extorted levy amount collected from the contractors/businessmen engaged in the developmental projects in Jharkhand and investing these funds into dubious shell companies like M/S Palak Enterprises, M/S Shiv Adi Shakti, M/S Shiv Shakti Samridhi Infra Pvt. Ltd., M/S Bhavya Engicon, formed with the partnership of PLFI associates and family members of Dinesh Gope.

Extortion racket:

Extortion racket:

The extorted money was also being mobilised from Jharkhand to other places through a network of Hawala Operators. Banking channels were also used to legitimise illegal money. The investigation has revealed transaction worth Rs 2.5 crore in two dozen bank accounts in the name of shell companies as well as on individual family members of Dinesh Gope.

Recently the NIA arrested Lalita Devi, an accused in the case relating to the seizure of a large amount of cash from the operatives of the CPI (Maoist).

NIA investigations revealed that CPI(Maoist) leaders and operatives were investing extorted money in Sahara Credit Co-operative Society and mutual funds. Cash worth Rs. 3 lacs was seized from accused Chandan Kumar, besides recovery of receipts of the cash deposits to the tune of Rs. 12 Lakhs in the name of Lalita Devi.

Routing money through banks:

Routing money through banks:

The seized amount was received by Chandan Kumar, Manager of Sahara Credit Co-operative Society from Santosh Oraon and Roshan Oraon.

In February following the surrender of a key naxal Oggu Satwaji alias Sudhakar, several details about the modus operandi of naxals had been revealed.

This was the second big incident after the surrender of Narasimha Reddy in 2017. In both these surrenders, it became clear that the ideology of the naxalites was fading.

The surrender of Sudhakar was an important one considering that he was part of the central committee and politburo, the highest decision-making body of the CPI (Maoist).

Apart from being part of the decision-making team, he was also a strategist. Sources in the Intelligence Bureau say that his surrender will deal a blow to the plan by the naxalites, who are looking to revive their activities in the south.

Sources also tell OneIndia that he is likely to get more naxalites to the surrender table.

Disgruntled with ideology:

Disgruntled with ideology:

The source further adds that one of the key reasons for his suicide was that he was disgruntled with the ideology of the Maoists. Several naxals have over the past few years surrendered citing a similar reason. They say that the ideology of the naxal movement has completely changed and today it is more about extortion and blackmail rather than fighting for a cause.

This came in the wake of a major change that was made in the naxal hierarchy recently when Muppala Lakshman Rao alias Ganapathy who was heading the naxalites since 2004 was replaced by Nambala Keshava Rao alias Basavaraju. Rao took over as the chief of the CPI (Maoist), which was formed in 2004, following the merger with the Peoples' War Group, CPI (Marxist-Leninist) and the Maoist Communist Centre of India.

Commenting on the developments, a senior official tells OneIndia that this was in the offing since the past one year. Many had been leaving the outfit on the ground that they were unhappy with the ideology. Most had said that they were disgruntled and hence wanted to quit the outfit.

Further, the naxalites were also facing heavy losses in several of their bastions. Home Ministry records speak about the reduction in the geographical spread of the naxalites all these factors, in fact, led to a change in leadership. More importantly, the naxalites decided to go with a combat man at their head and this could signal that they would look to get more aggressive.

Officials say that the change in leadership has not exactly helped their cause. Many have come forward complaining about the ideology that is being followed, while also adding that the naxals are today more driven towards money rather than the cause.

Sudhakar too tells the police that there has been a major shift in the ideology of the naxal movement. It has become more political and the agenda of some in the urban areas is what is being followed. There is no longer a cause that is being fought for, he also added.

Police sources say that Sudhakar was a major leader of the naxalites and he is expected to get more persons to surrender in the days to come.

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