In a positive turn of events, the country is experiencing a rare break in terrorist-financed activities, mob clashes and insurgency especially across the North and North-East. The thanks can be delivered to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1000 notes in the country as part of his corruption cleanup operation. These anti-national factions and separatist elements are finding it difficult to fund their activities be it attacks, protests or clashes.

 

 

Police in the Naxal and Maoist infested regions of Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha have claimed that such militant outfits are finding it difficult to dispose their stashes of cash secured through looting, kidnapping and extortion. They have also observed a huge drop in their movement and police is vigilant and tracking their movements.

 

 

According to Special Director General of Police (anti-Maoist operations) DM Awasthi, they are estimating that the banned outfits have more than ₹7000 crore in cash in their possession and it is highly probable that most of this will be in the devalued currency. As a preventive measure, police in the insurgency-infested pockets have doubled up security in front of ATMs, banks and other financial institutions in the region, in case these bands resort to violence to get funds.

 

 

Maoists and Naxals have been known to fund their activities through levy and extortion and use these reserves to pay their supporters and cadres. The cash is used to purchase firearms, ammunition, medicines, essentials, recruiting new members, for propaganda, gathering intelligence on targets and for other uses the group leaders may have.  

 

 

With the demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes, Naxalites, like many who have been hoarding black money in the country, are attempting alternative routes to get rid of their now useless tender. Police suspect it will be routed through locals or supporters for exchange in banks. Since November 10, police are also keeping an eye on banks in Maoist-affected areas for anyone coming with large amounts.

 

 

In fact, the police have made a headway. They had recovered unaccounted cash of ₹44.25 lakh, in the denomination of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes, and jewellery worth ₹2 lakh from a man in the Maoist-affected Kondagaon district last Friday. The person was unable to produce valid documents to explain the cash and jewellery he possessed and he was being interrogated to ascertain the source of the money. It only goes on to prove how desperate these radical left-wing groups have become and how they are looking to dispose off their finances, before it all goes to waste.

 

 

Similarly, if one were to observe, the valley of Kashmir and surrounding areas are surprisingly quiet. They are no longer on the boil. There have been no clashes between public and the police, leading analysts to believe that the currency ban has not only had a cleansing effect on the Indian economy but also on the security of the country. No force was needed to bring about this peace in the country.

 

 

Though an inconvenient move for millions in the country, evils such as terrorism, militancy, robbery and Naxalism are being suffocated thanks to this move. While it will take time for these outfits to get back into momentum and find alternatives, it will give law and order forces in these ‘terror-hit’ areas rest and a much needed break to plan ways of combating these groups with better preparation.

(Inputs from PTI)