Fund flow to Naxals under NIA scanner

Fund flow to Naxals under NIA scanner

The extremists are developing indigenous weaponry

 The Union Home Ministry on Monday instructed the National Investigation agency (NIA) to probe into the flow of funds and arms to the red rebels across the country.

To facilitate the probe, the states are required to hand over sensitive Naxal-related cases to the NIA. The Naxals have spread their wings across ten states, the latest being Punjab, parts of the north east and south India.

Last week, the NIA filed a charge sheet against a Manipur-based outfit for its alleged links with the rebels. They will now ascertain how the Naxals source funds, apart from proven methods like extortion and kidnap. Till date, neither the Centre nor the states have an approximation of funds available with the red rebels. 

In case of the Manipur-based organisation, its Kolkata office played a key role in accumulating funds and coordinating with the Maoists, the NIA said in the chargesheet filed in a Guwahati court. Though some intelligence reports claim the Naxals acquire arms from foreign countries, the rebels continually improvise with indigenous weapons. This became apparent following the arrest of Maoist leader Sadanala Ramakrishna and four others from Kolkata in February.

During interrogation, Ramakrishna, a mechanical engineering graduate from the Warangal Regional Engineering College, reportedly confessed to heading the Technical Research and Arms Manufacturing (TRAM).

Back in 1989, he instituted a technical development committee in Bangalore. TRAM, with centres in Kolkata and Mumbai, procures spare parts for rocket launchers and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs).

According to reports, the spare parts are sourced from various suppliers. At times, local workshops are ordered to manufacture units which are then transported to the Dandkaranya area, a vast stretch of forest bordering Chhattisgarh, AP, Maharashtra and Odisha. These units are then assembled into smoking weapons,  security officials handling  Naxal issues said.

According to them, the Naxals have improvised the indigenous rockets with repeated field trials in Dandakaranya. Around Rs 5 crore were spent for manufacturing the rockets, they added.

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