Naxals extorting Rs 140 crore annually: Govt

Naxals are reportedly extorting a "levy" of about Rs 140 crore annually from a variety of sources, government said on Wednesday.

New Delhi: Naxals are reportedly extorting a "levy" of about Rs 140 crore annually from a variety of sources, government said on Wednesday.

The extremists have killed 5,024 civilians in the last 10 years, a majority of them tribals.

"The Left Wing Extremists groups are reported to extort 'levy' from industrialists, businessmen, contractors particularly Tendu patta contractors, transporters, government servants and various illegal mining mafia groups in the LWE affected states.

"Though an exact quantification is not possible, a study conducted by the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis, Delhi has assessed that the CPI(Maoist) party has been collecting not less than Rs 140 crore annually from a variety of sources," Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

Talking about the killings of civilians by Naxals, the Minister said many instances of atrocities on villagers by the Maoists have come to notice. Most of these villagers include tribals. These atrocities include killings of innocent civilians, extortion, sexual exploitation of women and forced recruitment of children.

"In order to instil a sense of fear in their areas of dominance, the Maoists also kill civilians after branding them as police informers. Out of 5,024 civilians killed by the Maoists since 2004-2014 (upto November 30, 2014), the overwhelming majority are tribals. The Maoists have in reality killed thousands of innocent Adivasis, whose cause they profess to espouse," he said.

Chaudhary added that instances of sexual exploitation of tribal women by Naxals has also been reported.

"Sexual exploitation of tribal women cadres in the Maoist camps have been disclosed in statements of several surrendered women CPI (Maoist) cadres of Odisha, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand and other states. Such instances of sexual exploitation include rape, forced marriage and molestation by senior male CPI (Maoist) cadres.

"In Chhattisgarh, some surrendered tribal CPI (Maoist) male cadres have disclosed that they were forced by the senior leadership to undergo vasectomy operations as a pre-condition for marriage with women cadres.

"There are allegations that women cadres of CPI (Maoist), who become pregnant, are forced to undergo abortion against their will. The surrendered women cadres have also disclosed that even if they are married to male cadres, they are not allowed to have children since the senior leadership of the CPI (Maoist) feel that it impairs their fighting capability and mobility," he said.