Government setting up special wing of NIA to probe terror funding, money laundering by Naxals

Government setting up special wing of NIA to probe terror funding, money laundering by Naxals

New Delhi: In a bid to clip the wings of separatists and Naxals, the Union government is setting up a dedicated wing in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to track Naxal leaders and their sympathisers, who are allegedly involved in large-scale money laundering and spending huge amounts in the higher education of their children, media reports said on Monday.

The Home Ministry recently gave its nod for setting up the dedicated wing in the NIA for the task.

The government’s move came following the NIA’s extensive terror-funding probe against Kashmiri separatists, during which the agency arrested several leaders of the Hurriyat and other such organisations, including the son of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Sayed Salahuddin and the son-in-law of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

The NIA will also go after the Naxal leaders and their sympathisers who were involved in all such cases, the official said.

In February, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached properties worth Rs 86 lakh of a Jharkhand-based Maoist commander, Sandeep Yadav, said the reports.

It also attached assets worth Rs 68 lakh to two senior Maoist leaders, including Bihar-based brothers Pradumn Sharma and Pramod Sharma, in connection with a money-laundering probe against them.

Pradumn has several aliases such as Kundan Ji, Lulha, Saket, Anish Ji and is in charge of the Magadh zone special area committee of Bihar-Jharkhand of Naxalites.

Pramod, having aliases such as Prabhakar Ji and Pramod Singh, is the secretary of Banawar sub-area zonal committee of the CPI (Maoist).

The investigation has found that proceeds of crime have been utilised by Pradumn and Pramod to make huge expenses towards the admission of Pramod’s daughter in a medical college and coaching of their son and daughter at coaching institutes in Kota and Patna, an official was quoted in media reports.

There have been allegations against several contractors who are collecting levy and laundering it on behalf of Naxal leaders in Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

All these cases may be taken over by the NIA and probed as terror funding and money laundering, the official said.

As many as 90 districts in 10 states, including Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, are hit by Left Wing Extremism.