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Reds extort Rs 2k cr each year in India: C'garh DGP

Reds extort Rs 2k cr each year in India: C'garh DGP

Author: IANS
Publication: The Times of India
Date: November 29, 2009

Introduction: J'khand Top Contributor; Most Cash Comes From Businessmen

Maoists annually extort up to Rs 2,000 crore across India, mostly targeting iron and coal mining companies, infrastructure project contractors and tendu patta businessmen, says Chhattisgarh DGP Vishwa Ranjan.

"The per year extortion earnings of Maoists is up to Rs 2,000 crore, with Jharkhand being the top contributor," Ranjan, a former additional director of the IB said. "This is a 'guesstimate' based on cash books and other vital papers recovered by police from Maoists in recent months."

Ranjan said a major chunk of the extortion money comes from iron ore and coal businessmen, contractors of roads and other infrastructure projects, who have business activities in areas infested by Maoist rebels, and tendu patta businessmen.

Tendu patta is the leaf used for making 'bidis' or leaf rolled cigarettes, a business worth millions in Chhattisgarh's restive Bastar region.

"Around 20% of the amount extorted is siphoned off by grassroots Maoist cadres who pass on the remaining 80% to the top leadership of the banned (CPI Maoist)," claimed Ranjan, who has been police chief of Chhattisgarh since July 2007.

"The CPI-Maoist uses the extortion amount for smuggling ammunition even from some foreign countries, party meetings, boosting urban network and to care for a vast publication section, including a set of experts who manage the Maoist website, plus funding its legal cell that takes care of court cases against thousands of jailed Maoists across the country."

Ranjan also denied reports that the security forces would carry out aerial attacks on Maoist bases in the state. "The forces would not make aerial attacks in Chhattisgarh as Maoist areas are so thickly forested that you can't spot the ground from the air," he said. "There will be no aerial pounding on Maoist bases in Bastar, choppers will be used mainly for evacuation and taking out injured cops to hospital from the battle zone."

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