New Delhi, Oct 12: The National Investigation Agency undertook a major exercise while conducting raids at 15 different locations in a bid to crackdown on naxal funding. Raids were conducted at Ranchi, Hazaribagh and Jamshedpur in Jharkhand and Durgapur in West Bengal.
An NIA statement read, "on 09.10.2018, NIA conducted searches at 15 locations in Jharkhand and West Bengal in connection with LWE Terror funding case. Fifteen teams of NIA assisted by Jharkhand police carried out searches at the residences and offices of managers of different companies associated with purchase and transport of coal in Amrapali and Magadh coalfields for their alleged role in providing funds to (banned) LWE organisation TPC (Tritiya Prastuti Committee)."
While the NIA probe has unearthed a lot of details, the Enforcement Directorate too had pointed out about the extortion racket and protection money being paid by some industrialists to the naxalites. Further the big role played by the NGOs too came under the scanner, with the ED saying that these organisations helped channelise funds for the naxalites.
The ED had prepared a list of NGOs across the nation, which were suspected to have aided the naxalites by channelising funds. Several multi-agency meetings were held in this regard and plan was drawn up to crackdown on such funding.
The ED also identified several industrial houses that paid protection money to the naxals. In the past few months, the agencies have attached properties worth crores of rupees under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
In this context let us examine the case of a top naxal Pradyuman Sharma. He was running a major extortion racket. He and his associates would threaten businessmen and contractors. The money that they made was never used for their organisation. Almost all the money was invested to acquire land and other properties in different parts of Bihar.
In the various raids, the security agencies have made startling seizures. SUVs, apartments, huge amount of cash, and several acres are among what has been seized. In a raid that was conducted in Bihar, the agencies seized more than Rs 1.43 crore in cash.
In addition to this 20 acres of land purchased with the extortion money was also seized.
Further several buildings again acquired through ill gotten money was attached. The exercise conducted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act also led to the attaching of two flats in Kolkata, which was purchased by the naxalites.
A home ministry official tells OneIndia that the looted booty is all being diverted into investments in land, property and other luxuries. They lead a lavish lifestyle, drive around in expensive SUVs, the official also added.
Officials during the raids also seized several cars, excavators, buses, tractors, Rs 1.43 crore in cash and 20 acres of land that belonged to two prominent naxals operating out of Bihar and Jharkhand.
Among the confiscated money include Rs 27.5 lakh cash, which was seized from Prabhawati, wife of late Naxal leader Arvindji, in Jehanabad in Bihar and Rs 25.15 lakh, seized from Rohit, the son of Naxal leader Nandu Yadav in Latehar in Jharkhand.
Of the seized properties, which were bought through the extorted money, include 7 acres of land bought by Maoist leader Yamuna Mistri in Aurangabad, two acres of land purchased by Naxal leader Arjun Singh in Jehanabad, 2.2 acres of land bought by Sunil Singh in Aurangabad (Bihar) and two flats purchased by another leader, Santosh Jhar, of Sheohar (Bihar) in Kolkata), another official said.
Among the seized vehicles include a Bolero SUV, a Maruti swift car, a tractor, a Commander jeep, a Scorpio SUV, a JCB excavator and a Swift Dezire car.
The NIA raids:
The case on hand relates to a naxal funding case and during the raids cash to the tune of Rs 1 crore was recovered. Cash was recovered both in Indian and Singapore currency, NIA officials said.
The material seized related to the payments made to the Amrapali and Magadh Area Committee of TPC. The NIA during the raids seized incriminating material, which included documents related to payments made to Amrapali and Magadh Area Committee of TPC, bank account details and fixed deposits, deduction of levy amount, computers, hard discs, mobiles containing accounts of companies, diaries containing entries of money paid to TPC and PLFI (Peoples Liberation Front of India), cash worth Rs 68 lacs besides 10,000 Singapore dollars and $1300 along with Rs 86,000 demonetised currency notes.
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After the NIA took over the probe, it found that the naxalites were collecting money from small business houses, contractors and traders who would undertake government related work such as laying of roads, railway tracks etc. Further it was also found that money had been sought from coal and steel producers as well. The naxalites would also threaten villagers into parting with ration and other daily needs.
Live life naxal size:
- Pradyuman Sharma, member of Bihar-Jharkhand special area committee of the CPI (Maoists), paid Rs 22 lakh towards fees for admission of his niece in a private medical college last year.
- Member of the CPI (Maoists), Sandeep Yadav, gave Rs 15 lakh for exchange during the demonetisation.
- Yadav's daughter studied in a reputed private institute and his son is studying in a private engineering college.
- Senior leader Arvind Yadav paid Rs 12 lakh towards fees for his brother to study in a private engineering college.