Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rebels’ kitty swells by Rs 40cr each year

Ranchi, Sept. 25: A section of contractors, transporters and businessmen involved in illegal mining pay over Rs 40cr annually as levy to CPI(Maoist) in the state.

The Maoists have presence in about 18 districts at present and are currently engaged in covert exercises to cement their base in six districts in Santhal Pargana.

Inputs garnered by the state police and intelligence agencies suggest that rebels collect levy mainly from the illegal miners of iron ore and coal.

Even a section of contractors involved in government projects and transporters oblige the extremists by paying hefty amounts at regular intervals. Else, they cannot run their business, intelligence officials said.

A part of the levy, claimed the additional director-general of police (special branch), G.S. Rath, is sent to the central committee and a part to the local committee.

"This illegal money is also used to carry out various training programmes, purchase explosives, arms and ammunition," said the additional director-general of police (special branch).

A recently prepared seven-page report by the state police headquarters, "Naxalite scenario in Jharkhand state", reveals that levy collec- tion has become a serious threat for the development of the state.

The report stated that the police were able to recover over Rs 1.75 crore from some of the over 2,500 arrested rebels since the creation of the state.

Besides, 8,500kg of explosives, 2,000 weapons, 45,431 ammunition, 1,033 bombs and landmines were also seized during different combing operations and raids against the rebels.

Police officials confessed that the money seized by the state police is "peanuts" compared to the amount collected by the rebels in the state in a year.

Against this backdrop, director-general of police V.D. Ram has directed the district police chiefs to go all out to arrest and lodge cases against the rebels harassing businessmen and contractors for levy.

Spokesperson of the state police R.K. Mallick said the number of cases lodged against the rebels has increased enormously in the recent past.

"We are working to create a situation where the rebels would not dare to demand levy from any quarters," Mallick said.

The report also claimed that the Maoists have planned to unleash more planned attacks on police, railways, paramilitary forces to loot weapons and demoralise jawans in Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Bihar in the near future.


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