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Maoists Feel the Heat as Security Forces Go After Their Money, New Chief’s Letter Reveals

Accessed by News18, the 32-page letter written by Basavaraj to his senior commanders expresses serious concerns about the ways in which the proscribed outfit could meet its finances.

News18.com

Updated:December 31, 2018, 8:44 PM IST
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Maoists Feel the Heat as Security Forces Go After Their Money, New Chief’s Letter Reveals
(Image for representation only).
New Delhi: Under the combined pressure of security forces and financial crackdowns, Maoists are slowly beginning to crack, a letter written by the new general secretary of banned terror outfit CPI (Maoist), Nambala Keshav Rao or Basavaraj, has revealed.

Accessed by News18, the 32-page letter written by Basavaraj to his senior commanders expresses serious concerns about the ways in which the proscribed outfit could meet its finances.

'To curb the flow of money, the Centre has put all its agencies from CBI, ED, NIA etc which are stopping our collection from tendu patta business, bamboo harvests, mining, real estate etc. They are keeping a really close vigil on our collections," the letter states.

Tendu patta, leaves that are used in making bidis, are one of the biggest sources of revenue for the Naxals. Their yearly revenues from 'tax collection' on the tendu leaves collected in areas of their influence are up to Rs 100 crore a year.

Over the past several months, security forces have laid traps and hunted down several local Naxal leaders who used to extort huge sums from tendu patta contractors.

As a result of this, a big source of revenue for the Naxals has dried up, as have their extortion drives in other business in and around Bastar. The letter written by Basavaraj clearly mentions this fact.

'They are keeping a check on all those who give and accept money. Situation is particularly bad in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. The contractors have stopped paying up. There have been attacks on us when we went to collect money,' the letter adds.

In the letter, Basavaraj, who is learnt to have been appointed as the chief of CPI (Maoist) earlier this year also does a detailed study of the Gadchiroli encounter in which ove 40 Maoists were killed by security forces in April this year.

'We need to be more vigilant. We suffered heavily in Tamirgunda-Kasnur area [spot where the encounter took place]. From divisional committee members to commanders of the formation, nobody took charge. Instead of retreating, we unnecessarily engaged with the enemy for 2 hours. And then we blindly followed orders issued by a comrade to jump in the river. Most of our comrades died that day by drowning in Indravati river.'

Basavaraj, who was the chief of the outfit’s military unit, then asks his commanders to use claymore, barrel grenade launchers, more often against security forces.
In the 32-page letter, Basavaraj asks his commanders to focus on districts in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and in Assam to further expand their base.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
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