Days before the second anniversary of demonetisation, a BJP think-tank Wednesday published a report that claimed the Narendra Modi government’s decision had “broken the backbone of the LWE (Left Wing Extremism) movement by curbing its finance” in Chhattisgarh, reduced the recruitment in Naxal cadre and “unmasked the urban naxals” who were laundering money.
The study, which also comes weeks before the first phase of polling in Chhattisgarh on November 12, said demonetisation has increased the number of surrendered Naxals and forced them to join the mainstream.
The Public Policy Research Centre’s (PPRC) study Demonetisation: Impact on Combating Naxalism was conducted in Naxal-affected districts of Rajnandgaon, Sukma, Bijapur and Narayanpur in Chhattisgarh. Researchers found that demonetisation broke the backbone of LWE movement by curbing its finances, reduced the number of incidents of Naxal offences, increased the number of Naxals arrested, increased implementation of government projects, reduced recruitment in the Naxal cadre, helped in developing local intelligence and un-masking urban Naxals.
Admitting that the cash in circulation has now exceeded pre-demonetisation levels, BJP MP Vinay Sahasrabudhe, member of PPRC’s board of directors, said the government can now “trace the sources” after demonetisation. “Sources are known more than before. Therefore, nothing can be hidden,” Sahasrabudhe said.
“A political will was always required to resolve the problem of Naxalism by nullifying it and not utilising it, which was shown by the Narendra Modi government,” Sahasrabudhe said, adding, “In the past, some political parties have either promoted Naxals or used them for their interests.”
Mani Bhushan, who conducted the study in 23 villages in Chhattisgarh, said there were several front organisation for propaganda peddling. “Post-demonetisation, many bodies that were used by Naxals to launder invalidated currency came under the scanner. After several levels of scrutiny, many of them have been banned and blacklisted already,” the study stated.