In a first, ED attaches top Maoist leader’s assets worth Rs86 lakh

New Delhi: The properties of one of India’s top Naxal leaders have come under the radar of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), with the agency attaching Vijay Yadav, aka Badka Bhaiya’s assets under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

“ED has attached movable and immovable properties valued at Rs86 lakh of Badka Bhaiya, in-charge of Madhya Zone of Bihar Jharkhand Special Area Committee of CPI (Maoist). This is the first ever attachment of properties of a top Maoist leader by any agency in India. The ED has initiated investigation under the provisions of PMLA on the basis of the proposal sent by Bihar Police containing list of more than 88 FIRs and chargesheets filed against Yadav,” the ED said in a statement.

The investigation agency added that, “Sandeep Yadav and his brother have been charged under various sections of IPC (Indian Penal Code), Arms Act and UAP (Unlawful Activities Prevention) Act, for commission of heinous offences such as killing of security forces, murders, extortion, possession of arms and explosives.”

The agency stated that, “During investigation under PMLA, it has been revealed that cash to the tune of more than Rs1.50 crore have been infused in several bank accounts and immovable assets held in the name of family members of Yadav out of which properties valued at Rs86 lakh have been detected and attached by ED under Section 5 of the PMLA… as such during the course of statement before investigating officer of ED, they failed to substantiate the licit source of income utilized for acquisition of the subject properties.”

Security forces welcomed the move.

“While intelligence units are still trying to ascertain whether or not the Naxals receive funds from outside India, we do know that they have a robust funding network within, with some of their cadres amassing huge amounts of money which is pooled to finance their weaponry, ration and pay off their informants,” said a senior security official, who did not wish to be named.

According to intelligence reports reviewed by Mint, Maoists are now expanding their base beyond their bastion of Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district to the tri-junction of Madhya Pradesh-Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh in order to support their existing strongholds in Sukma and Dantewada districts in Chhattisgarh.

The reports also reveal that under the Odisha State Committee of the Maoists, Rayagada, Kandhamal and Kalahandi districts in Odisha are also emerging as hotbeds of Naxal activity, with the “absence of road infrastructure in these regions aiding the Naxals.”livemint