DO THE Maoists believe in Tirupati Balaji or Lord Ganesha? Ideologically they shouldn’t, but idols and pictures of Hindu gods abound at the workshop and houses of the suspected ultra-leftists caught by the police during raids on Thursday.
The police suspect that the Gods were used as a ‘protection device’ to evade suspicion and make the place look like a normal workshop. As the shutter opened, a big picture of Lord Ganesha greeted the visitors to the workshop at Satnami Nagar, where they did job work on a lathe machine.
It was just another dingy workshop with tools cluttered all around and if a snooping person had stepped in further, he would have found a small room created by partition, resembling a godown.
However, further partitions were craftily done inside to create smaller rooms where lay the machines used to manufacture weapon parts. Explosives, iron pipes, steel and gunmetal plates, barrels of rocket launcher and other material that could be assembled to make deadly weapons were found stored at the rear of the workshop.
The police officials marvelled at the finesse with which firing pins had been made. ‘‘It is too sophisticated. It is difficult to imagine that it was created in a workshop of this kind,’’ said an officer.
Also, designs and drawings of arms and internationally renowned books on sophisticated weaponry were kept in the hidden chambers. Ultra-leftist literature and CDs containing similar material had been kept inside.
The houses of the accused that were raided elsewhere also looked like ordinary middle-class households with the usual furniture and idols. Neighbours were surprised when they came to know about the activities going on at the workshop. “How would Gods protect them when they were involved in such illegal work,” remarked a policeman at the workshop that was sealed later in the day.