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Documents Recovered From Encounter Site Show Maoists Successfully Exchanged Demonetised Currencies

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Documents recovered from the site of an encounter in the jungles of Abhujmaad in Chhattisgarh on November 7 show that Maoists have successfully exchanged demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, reported The Indian Express.

The report says that D M Awasthi, Special Director General, Anti-Naxal Operations, Chhattisgarh, has confirmed this to the newspaper. At least 20 pages of handwritten accounts, spanning several years, were recovered from the encounter site where six Maoists were killed. 

A post script in one of the balance sheets, maintained by the Nelnar area janatana sarkar (local government) says, “Note bandi ke dauran 2 lakh jama kiya manta (Deposited 2 lakh during note ban).” The document has put the total expenditure of 2017 at Rs 46,720.

The report goes against the Centre’s claim that demonetisation has hit the Maoist finances.

Early in 2017, Home Minsiter Rajnath Singh said: “This decision (demonetization) has also affected the Maoists, insurgent forces and other terrorist forces,” he told mediapersons at the foundation-stone laying ceremony of the National Disaster Response Force’s 10th battalion near here.

Later, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi too echoed the view that government's demonetization move helped choke Maoist funds.

“Demonetisation has choked (Maoist) funds. Therefore they are showing desperation to snatch arms," Mehrishi said in a press briefing.

However, the Special Director General has maintained that demonetisation had adversely affected Maoist operations in Chhattisgarh.

According to police data, post-demonetisation, the Chhattisgarh police seized banned notes adding up to Rs 1.05 crore from 27 people, including Rs 44 lakh from one person, across seven of the worst Maoist-hit districts in the state, the report adds. However, the newspaper said that some other police officers have said that it was unlikely that Maoist finances had taken a huge hit after demonetisation. 

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