Demonetisation benefit | Maoists and Terrorists are bankrupt

Demonetiisation benefit | Maoists and Terrorists are bankrupt

NEW DELHI: This was known to intelligence agencies but the extent of cash, including fake notes, in circulation to support terror activities in India is just being realised by people now. Demonetisation of higher denomination currency notes by the government seems to have dealt a body blow to funding of terror in Jammu & Kashmir as well as Left-wing extremist violence across several states.

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Many of these outfits and their above-ground sympathisers seem to be supporting the opposition parties in their protest against demonetisation

While hawala cash transfers to Muslim terrorists and separatist elements based in Kashmir, which were mostly in denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, have come to an abrupt halt, Maoist groups, particularly in states like Bihar and Jharkhand, are at pains to “convert” the extortion money that has been stocked as piles of cash into ‘legal tender’, according to sources.

An intelligence officer tracking terror funding in Jammu & Kashmir said hawala channels had run dry after the the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. With no unaccounted cash to fund violence and protests in the valley, the lead trouble-makers have been forced to lie low. For, they no longer have the money to pay the local youths to pelt stones and stage violent protests.
A source said logistics for any terror operation or mob protests require money, which is almost entirely paid through hawala. “It is therefore interesting to note that no major terror attack has been reported in the valley since November 8,” he said.

“Though this could be partially on account of normalcy having returned to the valley prior to demonetisation, it also indicates that terrorists are now finding it difficult to fund their activities,” said a senior officer of the security establishment.

According to intelligence inputs, the bigger casualty in terms of sheer volume of funds, however, is Left-wing extremism. Intercepts of recent conversations among CPI(Maoist) leaders based in Bihar and Jharkhand show them discussing the fear of losing their piles of cash collected through extortion and ‘levy’. Government agencies have, meanwhile, stepped up surveillance to track money flow in naxal-infested areas. There are intelligence inputs that Maoists may target banks and cash vans to make good their losses, leading the security forces to step up vigil.