A dedicated wing is being set up in the NIA to go after Naxal leaders and their sympathisers, who are allegedly involved in large-scale money laundering and spending huge amounts in the higher education of their children, officials have said.
The move came following the NIA's extensive terror-funding probe against Kashmiri separatists, during which the central probe agency arrested several leaders of the Hurriyat and their kin, including the son of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Sayed Salahuddin and the son-in-law of hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
"A dedicated wing of the NIA is coming up to take up the terror funding and money laundering cases of the Naxals. The home ministry has given the necessary approval for it," a Home Ministry official said.
It also attached assets worth Rs 6.8 million of two senior Maoist leaders - Bihar-based brothers Pradumn Sharma and Pramod Sharma - in connection with a money-laundering probe against them.
The investigation has found that proceeds of crime have been utilised by Pradumn and Pramod to make huge expenses towards the admission of Pramod's daughter in a medical college and coaching of their son and daughter at coaching institutes in Kota and Patna, an official said requesting anonymity.
The Maoists are known for often blowing up schools or hampering spread of educational institutions in its area of influence but for the education of their children, they are spending in lakhs of rupees, the official said.
All these cases may be taken over by the NIA and probed as terror funding and money laundering, the official said.
As many as 90 districts in 10 states -- Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh -- are hit by Left Wing Extremism.
The geographical spread of the Left Wing Extremism has shrunk significantly in the last four years due to a multi-pronged strategy involving security- and development-related measures.
The significant features of the anti-Naxal policy were zero tolerance towards violence coupled with a big push to development activities so that the benefits of new roads, bridges, telephone towers reach the poor and the vulnerable in the affected areas, another official said.