The seized cash was reportedly meant for funding Naxal operations in Maharashtra's Aheri to carry out attacks on security forces and government establishments.
In a major operation, the Gadchiroli police this week busted a Naxal funding module and seized Rs 2.20 crore from two vehicles coming from Telangana to Maharashtra. The seized cash was reportedly meant for funding Naxal operations in Maharashtra's Aheri to carry out attacks on security forces and government establishments.
The operation was carried out acting on an intelligence input regarding a large amount of cash meant for Naxal funding being brought from Telangana to Maharashtra and was being moved into vehicles. The input stated that the cash would be moved into SUVs coming from Telangana to Maharashtra and the cross over would happen over bridges over the Godavari and Pranhita river coming from Telangana to Maharashtra.
On Tuesday, the Gadchiroli police placed nakabandi at the bridges over the Godavari and Pranhita rivers from where the vehicles were to enter into Maharashtra from Telangana.
"The Sironcha police party was checking all suspected vehicles and based on the input we had recieved a SUV was checked while it crossed from Telangana to Maharashtra on the Godavari river bridge and Rs 1.19 crore cash was found hidden in the vehicle. The driver couldn't provide any satisfactory answers and was taken into custody," said Shailesh Balkavade, Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli.
The second vehicle was apprehended over the bridge on Pranhita river as it crossed on the Maharashtra side from Telangana. In this vehicle, around Rs 99.30 lakh were found. The driver couldn't provide any satisfactory explanation for the cash being ferried in the vehicle so he was also taken into custody.
Additional SP Ajay Bansal from Gadchiroli with the Sironcha police interrogated the drivers. Based on the details provided by the drivers during interrogation, Gadchiroli police on Thursday arrested two contractors of Tendu leaves from Telangana on whose directions the money was being ferried.
The Tendu leaves season has started and many contractors from Telangana buy rights for plucking of Tendu leaves from Gadchiroli every year. This is when the Naxal cadres extort a large amount of money or contractors pay protection money to Naxals to operate in the jungles. This is the period when Naxals raise funds from the contractors to fund their operations which would be carried out throughout the year.
"The money was being sent to Naxal cadres operating in Aheri subdivision of the district and could be used for attacks on security forces and government establishments. This operation has helped choke the funding of Naxal cadres who have suffered a major jolt after the arrest of top Naxal commander Narmadakka, death of Divisonal Committee Member Srujanakka in the recent encounter in the first week of May and surrender of some top commanders like Bhaskar and few others," said a senior officer privy to the development.
The Gadchiroli police have booked the contractors and two drivers under various sections of UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act).
Last month on May 17, two police commandoes of Gadchiroli police died in an encounter with Naxals while three others were left injured in the jungles of Poyarkoti Koparshi in Bhamragad taluka of the district