The Centre has adopted the state’s policy to confiscate the assets of Maoists to combat the Naxalite menace despite criticising Bihar for its alleged failure to contain the growing activities of rebels.
The Union ministry of home affairs on October 17 issued letters to the home secretaries and the directors-general of police of the nine Naxalite-hit states, asking them to compile data on movable and immovable property of the rebels at the earliest. Bihar launched a special drive three months ago to confiscate the assets of Maoists. The state home department has cleared proposals of confiscation of property of seven Naxalites.
The Union home ministry’s letter said once the data were collected, the process of confiscation of property of the cadets would be initiated under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA). Apart from Bihar, the letter has been dispatched to the authorities of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Bengal.
The letter, a copy of which is in possession of The Telegraph, stated that the joint secretary in the Union ministry of home affairs was the competent authority to initiate action under Section 51 A of the UAPA. Director-general of police (DGP) Abhayanand said Bihar police for the first time in the country used the UAPA to curb the Naxalite activities. “Now the same has been approved by the Centre and a directive has been issued to the Maoist-hit states to implement it,” he said.
The state police headquarters had submitted proposals to confiscate assets of 23 Maoist leaders to the home department. The DGP said the state police had confiscated the property of seven Maoists, including Santosh Jha and Kundan Mandal. “The proposals against the remaining 16 are pending with the state home department,” he said.
Principal home secretary Amir Subhani said seven cases related to the confiscation of property of the Maoists or criminals having links with the rebels had got the seal of the department.
Earlier, R.K. Singh, the then secretary in the Union ministry of home affairs, had written a strong letter to the chief secretary, A.K. Sinha, asking the latter to intensify operations against the rebels.
The state police claimed that the Centre’s assessment was not supported by facts.