Four top Maoist cadres from Andhra Pradesh could have planned the Chhattisgarh ambush that saw the killing of 74 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force.

Sources believe that four Central Committee members hailing from the State are behind the attack. The leaders are: Katakam Sudarshan alias Anand, head of the Central Regional Bureau (CRB), Kadari Satyanarayan Reddy alias Kosa, secretary of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal committee (DKSZC), Thippiri Tirupathi alias Devuji, who guides the CRB in military issues and Mallojula Venugopal alias Bhupati, a member of the CRB and in charge of Dandakaranya.

While Katakam Sudarshan hails from Adilabad district, the other three leaders are from Karimnagar district in Andhra Pradesh. Mallojula Venugopal is the brother of Mallojula Koteshwar Rao or Kishanji, the chief architect of the Lalgarh resistance movement in West Bengal.

The Tuesday attack also signals the commencement of a Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC), if one were to take into consideration another major attack in Koraput of Orissa on April 4 killing 11 personnel of the Special Operations Group (SOG).

Intelligence agencies had issued an alert last week that the TCOC could begin from April 15 onwards. The TCOC means Maoists would resort to intensified attacks on security forces and enemies of the revolutionary movement to spread as much confusion as possible. The launch of the TCOC is an attempt to blunt the initiative of Operation Greenhunt.

Counter-insurgency experts analysing the Chhattisgarh massacre say that the CRPF company was led to a death trap. It was returning to its camp after a three-day operation, when it came under attack from three sides leaving a flank open. This forced the trapped security forces to believe that it was safe to escape through that side.

However, the seemingly ‘safe passage' was heavily mined and rebels with Light Machine Guns (LMGs) lay in ambush at a distance. The jawans walked into the trap only to be mowed down by machine gun fire, Andhra Pradesh officials who are in touch with their Chhattisgarh counterparts said.

The CRPF combing operation involved some 4000 personnel and began three days ago on the fringes of Abuz Maad, the military nerve centre of the Maoists in Southern Chhattisgarh.

The attack has surprised counter-insurgency experts as they were under the impression that five companies of the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), (the fighting unit of the Maoists) had been moved out of Abuz Maad in Bastar, ever since the Centre began mobilising forces for Operation Greenhunt. At least one PLGA company is believed to have participated in the ambush.