"Numerous intelligence inputs suggested that Maoists have extorted money to the tune of Rs 80-100 crore from various sources like contractors, businessmen, transporters and tendu patta contractors, every year in the state," a senior police official, said. (Agencies)
Senior Naxal leaders were primarily focusing on mineral-rich Chhattisgarh to extort money for functioning of the banned outfit CPI (Maoist) in the country, the official said.
In March this year, based on tip-offs, security forces had unearthed Naxal dumps in the forests of Sitagaon and Aundhi in Rajnandagon district and seized nearly Rs 29 lakh, he said.
The spokesperson of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee Gudsa Usendi alias GVK Prasad, who surrendered early this year in Andhra Pradesh, had revealed that Naxals were involved in extorting a hefty amount of money from restive Bastar (South Chhattisgarh) region, he added.
Giving details of the account of money extorted by Naxals, based on the documents received from State Intelligence Bureau, the officer said, Naxals have been extorting money to the tune of Rs 3 crore annually from the locals, Rs 10 crore from businessmen, Rs 20 crore from contractors, Rs 10 crore from transporters.
Around Rs 20 crore from tendu leaves contractors, Rs 15 crore from timber contractors, Rs 20 crore from industrialists based in Naxal-hit areas and Rs 20 crore from the employees and officers, he added.
Around 20 percent of total cost of any projects or development work undertaken in the Maoist-affected zones is extorted as "protection money", ensuring safety to the work as well as people involved in it till its completion, the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) document said.
Moreover, mobile operators also pay protection money of Rs 20,000 to Maoists to ensure safety of the mobile towers.
From the locals, money is raised in the name of ‘revolutionary tax’, which ranges from Rs 10 to Rs 2,000, it said.
The SIB document also revealed that the central committee of CPI (Maoist) takes the final call on the amount to be extorted from different sources.
The task has been divided among organization’s segments like zonal committee, area committee and local cadres, and at each level and the place where money kept after collection is known to only two persons.
Mostly, money is hidden underneath the earth in deep forests. However, sometimes it is deposited in banks as well, it said.
As per the documents, money is used for different purposes like buying vehicles, procuring gold biscuits, weapons and explosives, printing works, medicines, communication, food, training camps, legal aid.
Senior police officials said though they believe Naxals were largely engaged in extortion in Chhattisgarh but with increasing pressure of police they have been able to control it.
"Indeed Naxals extort big amount of money in LWE (left wing extremism) affected areas. Instead of complaining to police, contractors, businessmen and industrialists pay them money under their threat," Additional Director General of Police (Naxal Operation) RK Vij said.
Gradually, it is being witnessed that contractors and businessmen have refused to pay extortion in places where they (Naxals) are losing its grips amid increasing police pressure, he added.
"Numerous intelligence inputs suggested that Maoists have extorted money to the tune of Rs 80-100 crore from various sources like contractors, businessmen, transporters and tendu patta contractors, every year in the state," a senior police official, said.