A special court has sentenced 13 people, including two businessmen, to seven years rigorous imprisonment for acting as Maoist couriers and transporting arms and ammunition for them.
Special Judge Abdul Zahid Qureshi yesterday convicted businessmen Neeraj Chopra and his uncle Dharmendra Chopra, Mohpal alias Santosh Dhruva, Baliram Usendi, Chaitram Darro, Phoolsingh Naag, Sukhnath Nareti, Badri Gavde, Mohan Singh Dhruva, Ramkumar Mandavi, Dasrath Mandavi, Laxman Usendi and Ravi Kadiyam, Public Prosecutor Suresh Prasad Sharma told PTI.
All the accused were found guilty of acting as Maoist couriers and receiving arms and ammunitions for them, he said.
Sharma said the State Intelligence Branch and police had arrested the 13 people between January and February last year for providing logistic and financial support to the outlawed CPI (Maoist) from separate places of Raipur and Bastar region in January, 2014.
On January 15, 2014, Mohpal, Baliram and Chaitram, were held from Abhanpur area here while they were carrying ammunitions from Raipur to Kanker for naxals, he said.
Subsequently, two more Naxal couriers — Phoolsingh and Sukhnath — were apprehended, while their questioning led to arrest of two Kanker-based businessmen?and PWD contractors Dharmendra?Chopra?and his nephew Neeraj?Chopra,?and one Ravi Kadiyam.
Later, others accused were also arrested, he said.
The traders played an important role in the movement of senior Naxal cadres in town areas, arranging their meetings, beside extorting money from the industrialists for procuring arms, weapons, medicines, clothes, food, electronic gadgets for the outlawed outfit, Sharma said.
They were also instrumental in recovering protection money from the mining companies in Bastar region for Maoists, he added.