Left wing Extremism: Worth Rs 2,000 crore how naxalites procure arms, raise funds through their urban friends
The busting of a huge ammunition dump belonging to the naxalites was a major breakthrough for the security agencies. The agencies recovered 15 weapons and over 260 bullet rounds, from a Left-Wing Extremism-hit area of Jharkhand.
The cache was found during a raid by a joint team of the CRPF, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the state police in the 'Lugu Pahar' jungle area in the Bokaro district based on leads provided by an arrested Naxalite, a senior official said.
As many as 10 303 rifles, a carbine and 13 other types of guns, detonators, 269 rounds of live bullets, a 12-kg improvised explosive device and Rs 3 lakh in cash was seized after the raid on the Maoists' dump today, the official said. The tip-off about the Naxals' dump was provided by one of the arrested Naxals in the case - Mahavir Manjhi alias Charlees - during interrogation by the NIA.
The urban naxalites:
In the crackdown against naxalites, the security agencies have gone into detail as to how they are being funded and also how the weapons are being procured. From Rs 1,000 crore in 2009, the networks net worth is estimated to be anything between Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500 crore today.
Sources say that their estimated budget allocation for procurement of weapons alone is Rs 200 crore a year. The rest of the money is being spent on propaganda which is done at the highest levels in urban areas. A considerable amount of money is also being spent on recruitment and training.
The naxalites have their own arms factories, an R and D wing, propaganda wing and recruitment bureau. They rely heavily on funds from abroad and also from the urban areas. There have a dedicated network which forms part of the propaganda wing which are concentrated in the urban areas.
Those part of the propaganda wing include, lawyers, former judges, activists and students. It has been found that the naxals not only rely on these people for propaganda, but also to challenges the funds and move their equipment. It may be recalled that back in 2008 the Chattisgarh police had found that a travel agency was facilitating the movement of funds and arms to naxalites.
How the arms procurement evolved:
From begging locals to snatching weapons from police stations, naxalites today have a dedicated network that has made procurement of weapons easy. At first they would collect the weapons from the locals. There was even a time that they used bows and arrows in operations.
The next step was snatching weapons from police stations. This modus operandi was in place for a long time when naxalites would stage an attack on a police station only with an intention of snatching weapons. There have been a few instances when naxalites have bribed security personnel into parting with their weapon.
Around 15 years back, the naxalites ensured that a bunch of their men trained in arms manufacturing. They were trained by the maoists in Nepal. There were joint exercises conducted by the naxals in India and Nepal. Following this they set up their own units and made landmines, IEDs, homemade mortar rounds.
The first time they decided to procure sophisticated weapons from abroad was through the LTTE based in Sri Lanka. The LTTE not only provided them arms, but also imparted training.
After the fall of the LTTE, the naxalites tapped the NSCN (K) which offered help. The Nagaland based outfit helped the naxalites procure arms and also imparted training. They had created routes through Bangladesh and Myanmar to procure the arms.