There has been a sharp dip in Naxal operations in states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha, where they enjoy a formidable network, largely on account of demonetisation. Union home minister Rajnath Singh also gave an indication to this effect even as intelligence agencies are still busy gathering information on impact of demonestisation on terror activities in the North-East as well as Jammu and Kashmir.
Mr Singh on Tuesday admitted that demonetisation has indeed increased problems for Naxals, implying that intelligence inputs reveal that they have weakened. Without getting into the specific details of the damage inflicted on the Maoists, the minister claimed that available inputs suggest that they were facing a major cash crunch following a ban on old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
“It is correct that Naxals have weakened post- demonetisation. The intelligence information received by us shows their problems have increased. Their strength has reduced,” Mr Singh said. Intelligence agencies have also informed the home ministry that Naxal outfits were pressurising local businessmen and village committees to convert their old currency following which Naxal-dominated states were told to launch a special offensive against this.
Top home ministry officials said the exact impact of demonetisation on Naxal operations and even terror activities would be known over the next few weeks though all possible indications suggest that it has had a severe impact.
“While we have already received information about Naxal operations, intel agencies are monitoring activities of terror outfits in North-East and the Valley. Terror groups in the North-East are the biggest receivers of funds followed by the Valley so we are keeping a close tab on that,’’a senior intelligence official said.