India: Maoist rebels turn to drugs trade

April 17, 2008 at 11:05 AM

NEW DELHI, April 17 (UPI) -- India says cannabis cultivation and trading is a major source of funds for Maoist rebels in some parts of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa states.

"In their strongholds, the armed rebels collect levy from licensee cannabis cultivators who cultivate excess land over-and-above the permitted limits, protection money from narcotics traders who indulge in trafficking, and safe-passage money from narcotics smugglers," junior Interior Minister Sri Prakash Jaiswal told Parliament Thursday.

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