Maoist guerrillas are now trying to create a new Red corridor through Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal, as they had come under "some pressure" from security forces during the past year.
Jawans looking at a charred motorcycle, which was burnt allegedly by Maoists during their ongoing strike, at a village in Purulia district, Bihar.
Intelligence inputs indicate the rebels are trying to create the corridor from the area between south Bastar and south Orissa right up to Jharkhand and West Bengal, state police chief Vishwaranjan told HT.
The corridor, through dense jungles, will make it easier for the rebels to move fast and unnoticed from one state to another if they can build a strong presence among people.
"They are trying to build this corridor through north Sambalpur in Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal," said a police officer.
The Maoists' handbook, Strategies and tactics of the Indian Revolution, written in 2004, said, "We will be able to build these areas into a contiguous area of armed struggle, with each area influencing the other."
But to create a corridor for safe movement, the rebels will need supporters on both sides of the states' borders - people who will tip them off well in time if the police venture into the jungles.
"This is important because a corridor is like a chicken neck. It can be blocked if they don't know when the police are moving in," Vishwaranjan said.
Officers leading anti-Maoist operations insisted the pressure would grow this year as central forces had regained their confidence that took a beating last April when 76 policemen were massacred in Dantewada.
With Jharkhand, Orissa and Bihar also taking steps to raise the tempo of the offensive, officers said the corridor could be used to supplement local formations if the pressure suddenly increased in some part.
"For example, if there is too much pressure in Jharkhand, they can send additional companies from here," said a state intelligence officer.
In Bastar - the Maoists have deployed half their military strength here and consider it their main battleground - police officers noticed the bulge when reports on heightened guerrilla activities came in from new areas.
In last few months, similar activities and incidents have been reported from other districts bordering Orissa.
Officers said they anticipated and noticed the "bulge effect" of the police operations being conducted in Bastar division.