A textbook of Delhi-based Rau’s IAS Study Circle lay besides literature on making rocket launchers and on hunting down choppers in Hikonar, a village whose location itself came as a surprise. Situated in the Orchha block of Narainpur, pronounced Ikonar by locals, it has no proper coordinates on Archaeological Survey of India maps and was found by CRPF men at some distance from the stated position.
The CoBRA 206 Battalion led by Commandant S S Gill also busted an arms factory in Hikonar, apart from seizing various kinds of guns and material to make weapons. The literature reportedly recovered on March 15 included the 1954 edition Communist Guerrilla Warfare, written by Brigadier C Aubrey Dixon and Otto Heilbrunn, apart from a book in English of critical essays on the Marxist cultural movement in India, the IAS textbook as well as sketches on making bombs, detonators and rocket launchers, in English, Hindi, Telugu and Marathi.
Also found were boxes of medicines, an advanced photo printer, batteries and solar-chargers, all in the home of an old tribal woman. “She definitely did not know anything, but her sons and other relatives are major Maoist commanders,” claimed Narainpur SP Mayank Srivastava.
“We had prior information about the presence of such activities in Hikonar. In February, a major Maoist commander and expert in making bombs was arrested from Kolkata,” he added.
Gill added that they found a photograph in which advanced guns like AK-47 could be seen lying behind the woman.
The notes in Telugu, dated 1995, could have reached Abujhmaad in Chhattisgarh from Maoists in Andhra.
While The Indian Express could not reach Hikonar, locals in other villages of Abujhmaad confirmed the presence of a major Maoist hub in the area. The secretary of the CPI (Maoists), Maad-North Bastar ‘Joint Divisional Committee’, Keye, has accused the forces of looting many houses in Hikonar.
The detailed sketches and notes on making rocket launchers and hunting down choppers have the forces most worried. Gill confirmed that during the operation, an MI-17 could not land at Jatwar to provide reinforcement as Maoists opened fire at it. Three bullets hit its body. “Maoists are developing rocket propelled grenade launchers, a very dangerous trend,” said Srivastava.