The Maoists' dance of the macabre just after gunning down the Salwa Judum founder Mahendra Karma seems to have been just the prelude.
Intelligence reports speak of celebrations by the ultra leftists in the dense forested tracts across Chhattisgarh and even neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
"These celebrations are taking place in the liberated zones across the Maoist-hit Red corridor," a top official involved in anti-Maoist operations told HT.
"Top and senior level leaders are holding meetings and holding out Saturday’s ‘near perfect’ ambush as a historic win where Karma was gunned down along with state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel among others," the official said.
There were at least five previous unsuccessful attempts on Karma, the last one being in November 2012.
This is part of the deliberate process to lift the mood of the cadres that had sunk considerably after serious military reverses to the Maoist movement in the last year or so.
"Without doubt, further plans are being drawn out to launch attacks to reap the advantage of the rejuvenated mood of the cadres and also before the monsoon begins," the official added.
The entire area straddling several states becomes swampy during monsoons, making operations by either Maoists or security forces a daunting task, which is rendered further difficult due to the proliferation of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
Intelligence agencies had already sent in reports of the several bands of heavily-armed Maoists camping in the Sukma-Jagadalpur area for several weeks now, with some sneaking in from Maharashtra and Odisha, too.