New Delhi: The call traffic between hawala agents in India dropped almost by half post demonetisation , says a recent assessment by the central intelligenceagencies. Payments to the end beneficiary of hawala deals are traditionally in cash, with Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 being the favoured denominations.
The demonetisation of these high-value notes on November 9 severely affected hawala operators, and going solely by call traffic, their business may be down by 50%, said an intelligence source.
Terror funds are mostly sourced in counterfeit currency, comprising high-quality fake notes that Indian agencies suspect are printed at the Pakistan government printing press in Quetta and its security press at Karachi.
Given this fact and the drop in hawala transactions, demonetisation has dried up funds used for organised stone-pelting in Kashmir and paying overground terror supporters in the state.
Intelligence officials claim that terrorism-related violence in J&K dipped by 60% post the cash ban, with only one major blast reported from the valley in December.
An intelligence official claimed that apart from organised stone-pelting, a direct casualty of demonetisation in J&K was the overground network of terror facilitators.
“The overground supportbase of terrorists depends on instant cash payments. A weakened OGW (overground worker) network due to demonetisation has resulted in several successful counterterrorist operations in the Valley over the past several weeks,” said the officer.
A sharp decline in corrupt deals and price correction in the artificially skewed real estate market (by the land mafia) in J&K are among the other positives witnessed in the state in the aftermath of demonetisation.
The impact of the government’s decision is even more pronounced in areas hit by Left-wing extremism, given that most of their annual extortion income is held in cash. CPI (Maoist) is reportedly finding it difficult to fund activities of its mass organisations.
Senior CPI (Maoist) members in Chhattisagrh’s Bastar division as well as Jharkhand have allegedly contacted people seeking help to convert the banned notes into legal denominations.
According to intelligence estimates, over Rs 90 lakh has been seized from Maoist cadres/supporters since demonetisation kicked in on November 9. Demonetisation has also stepped up pressure on CPI(Maoist) cadres to surrender in large numbers, said an intelligence officer.
Similarly, northeastern insurgent groups, hit by post-demonetisation losses, are finding it difficult to procure arms and ammunition from across the border.