New Delhi: Naxals are trying to set up organisational bases in the Northeast to forge ties with other insurgent groups to meet their military needs and the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border has emerged as another theatre of Maoist activities, the government said on Wednesday.
"The CPI(Maoist) has developed close fraternal ties with Northeast insurgent groups like the Revolutionary People`s Front and People`s Liberation Army of Manipur. Both the outfits have agreed upon mutual cooperation in the areas of training, funding, supply of arms and ammunition," Minister of State for Home RPN Singh told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
The minister said the Upper Assam Leading Committee (UALC) of CPI(Maoist) is presently operating in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and have been involved in incidents of looting of weapons and extortion from local villagers.
The government said UALC has also been engaged in recruitment and training of cadres for the outfit in Assam and these cadres have been utilised in extensive propaganda against mega dams in Assam.
"In this backdrop, Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border has emerged as another theatre of Maoist activities. The outfit is also establishing separate channels in the Northeast, particularly in Nagaland for procurement of ammunition," the minister said.
Singh said the central government has alerted the state governments concerned of the Northeast in this regard. The government is also monitoring the situation closely, he said.
"The activities of CPI(Maoist) has declined significantly in the Northeast in recent times, consequent to the arrest of important cadres from the area," he said.
Naxals extort Rs 140 crore annually
Naxals have been extorting money to the tune of Rs 140 crore annually from contractors, businessmen and corporate houses besides their front organisations are suspected to be receiving foreign funds clandestinely.
"Though an exact quantification of their finance is not possible, it has been assessed in a study conducted by the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis, Delhi, that the CPI-Maoist has been collecting not less than Rs 140 crore annually from a variety of sources," Minister of State for Home RPN Singh informed Rajya Sabha in a written reply today.
He also said possibility of certain front organisations of CPI(Maoist) clandestinely getting foreign funds cannot be ruled out.
Singh said the main source of funds for the Maoists include extortion from `tendu patta` contractors, extortion from infrastructure/ development work contractors, `levy` from businessmen and corporate houses.
In addition, they rob banks and public and private properties to augment their finances.
"The Left Wing Extremists groups, particularly the CPI (Maoist), extort considerable `levy` from various illegal mining mafia groups in Naxal-affected states," the minister said.