Dedicated wing in NIA to target Maoists

This dedicated wing would act in the way the agency investigated terror-funding cases against Kashmiri separatists, who is claimed to have received funds from Pakistan to foment trouble in Jammu and Kashmir.

In the fight against Maoists, the government has decided to rope in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) by setting up a dedicated wing for targeting Maoist cadres and sympathisers.

The approval came recently and the unit will investigate Maoist leaders and sympathisers, who are "involved" in large-scale money laundering and using it for the activities of the banned organisation.

This dedicated wing would act in the way the agency investigated terror-funding cases against Kashmiri separatists, who is claimed to have received funds from Pakistan to foment trouble in Jammu and Kashmir.

The NIA is likely to take up cases of Maoists' who are spending a large amount of money for their families in the way of education of their children and other means.

It will also investigate allegations against contractors who are laundering money on behalf of Maoist leaders in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar.

Last February, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had attached properties worth Rs 86 lakh of Jharkhand-based Maoist commander Sandeep Yadav.

Besides this, property worth Rs 68 lakh of two senior Maoist leaders Pradyuman Sharma and Pramod Sharma, who are brothers, in connection with a money-laundering probe against them.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the scenario, while remaining an area of concern for internal security, exhibited significant improvement over the recent years.

The declining trend of Maoist violence which started in 2011 continued in 2017 as well.

"The last four years have seen an unprecedented improvement in the LWE (Left Wing Extremism) scenario across the country. An overall 20% reduction in violent incidents (1136 to 908) and 33.8% reduction (397 to 263) in LWE related deaths in 2017 as compared to 2013 has been reported," the MHA Annual Report 2017-18 has said.

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