The Reserve Bank's announcement of withdrawal of Rs 2,000 currency notes has come as a setback for Naxalites as their funds collected by way of extortion are mainly in this denomination, a senior police official in Maharashtra claimed on Tuesday.
The police in the Naxal-affected Gadchiroli district are on alert as Naxalites have become active to exchange the Rs 2,000 notes lying with them, he said. Notably, two persons were last Thursday arrested in Bijapur district of neighbouring Chhattisgarh with Rs 6 lakh in Rs 2,000 currency notes allegedly belonging to a Naxalite commander, as per the police.
The Reserve Bank of India recently announced the withdrawal of Rs 2,000 notes from circulation and asked people to deposit them in banks or get them exchanged till September 30.
Speaking to PTI, Deputy Inspector General, Gadchiroli range, Sandip Patil said the withdrawal of Rs 2,000 notes is a "setback" for Naxalites as the money extorted by them from contractors of tendu leaves and PWD is mainly in this denomination and hidden at various places in forests.
The Gadchiroli police have got intelligence inputs that Naxalites have become active to exchange the Rs 2,000 notes lying with them, he said. This has come to the fore from some of the recent incidents in Chhattisgarh, he said.
The official referred to the seizure of Rs 6 lakh in Rs 2,000 notes in Chhattisgarh, and an offence registered against a person who had received currency in this denomination from Naxalites to get it exchanged.
Patil said the police were maintaining surveillance in the sensitive Naxal-affected regions and keeping a watch on the jan militia and major Naxalite supporters. The police were also keeping a watch on tendu leaves contractors and were in touch with bank officials (for information about the exchange of Rs 2,000 notes).