Ruling out a change in the central and state forces' strategy in the anti-Maoist operation, Chhattisgarh Director General of Police (DGP) Viswas Ranjan on Thursday said the security forces would "continue to hit the Naxal (Maoist) heart" and the rebels will have to pay for Tuesday's massacre.
"We will continue to hit the Maoist in the deep. We will continue to hit the Naxal heart," said Ranjan in an interview to a TV channel.
Asked if there would be any change in the anti-Maoist operation's strategy, he said: "I don't think so. We will have to learn from this experience. We have to be more vigilant."
Maoist guerrillas ambushed and killed 76 security personnel - 75 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers and one policeman - in the dense forests of Chhattisgarh in the worst such attack.
Multiple blasts rocked the convoy and tossed their armoured vehicles into the air as simultaneously over 700 Maoist fighters opened indiscriminate fire from a hilltop in Dantewada district.
Ranjan said the Maoists would have to pay for what they had done.
He said the CRPF-state police co-ordination in the area was fine and all operations were conducted jointly. "Joint operation basically means meeting of the minds."
The top cop said the CRPF team failed to spot the ambush points.
They were "not able to anticipate the ambush point. The whole company walked into the trap. They were completely boxed in...couldn't escape from any side," he said.
Ranjan said many of the answers "so desperately needed" lie with a group of injured troopers, now being treated in hospital for serious injuries.
He stated that "once these jawans (troopers) recover from their trauma, their information will be used to reconstruct the ambush to figure out basics like how long the attack lasted."
He said their burn injuries suggest "molotov cocktails (petrol bombs) were used".