Saturday, June 06, 2009

Naxalism: a Rs 1500 crore red corridor empire

Snehesh Alex Philip

Ranchi, June 7 (PTI) Naxalism, which started off as a people's movement, has now become a nearly Rs 1500 crore organised extortion business in the form of 'levy', police and central security officials said.
CPI (Maoist) and especially its splinter groups, which extort the money hardly pump it back for running the movement but instead use it to maintain luxurious life-styles for their masters, the officials said.

The Naxal literature and documents seized by central security agencies and state police forces during their operations have revealed intricate details of "levy" extorted by groups which run in several hundred crores every year.

The 'levy' is not only paid by the contractors working in the areas dominated by the Naxals but also by the industrial houses including some of the nationally reputed ones, the officials said.

Though, CPI (Maoist) still remains the prominent Naxal group in Jharkhand, there are other splinter groups which too have now started imposing 'levy' besides indulging in kidnapping, looting and narcotics trade, which results in around Rs 300 crore as annual income from the state.

If a conservative estimate is taken of the income generated from 'levy' in the seven most Naxal-infested states -- Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal and Maharashtra -- security agencies feel the collection from these areas, which are commonly referred to as 'red corridor', amount to nearly Rs 1,500 crore. PTI

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