Soft targets such as political leaders and urban centres such as Delhi could be targeted by Maoists as they come under increasing pressure from security forces in coming months.
Government sources said last week's ambush in Bastar could be repeated over the next year or so.
"It is in the nature of Maoist insurgency. They will turn to soft targets outside their core areas when the security establishment tightens its grip," a government official overseeing the anti-naxal offensive said.
Maoists had earlier planned to expand their presence in urban areas but the attempt, which exposed its leaders to intelligence-based operations by Andhra's Greyhounds (elite commando units), was unsuccessful.
"This time, the objective will be to carry out spectacular attacks. They will target political leaders," he said, pointing to plans to squeeze the Maoists out of their core areas.
The home ministry plans to push 27 more battalions of central forces (82 are already deployed) into the naxal belt, in the next 3 years.
Once it is able to achieve a fair density of police presence, special forces will be able to use the secured areas to launch surgical strikes at short notice across the naxal heartland.
"It is an incremental step but it will pinch them," a senior security official said.
Seized Maoist documents and communications over the last few months already indicate the armed guerrillas leaders were finding it difficult to keep their flock together.
In one letter accessed by HT , the central committee member listed recent desertions, pointing that those who left had not been adequately motivated by senior leaders to face hardships.
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