Around the time the Italian hostage Paolo Bosusco walked to his freedom on Thursday, a key home ministry meeting in Delhi decided to set the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after Naxals to probe and dismantle their supply of weapons and communication devices.
The home ministry has ordered the NIA to take over its first anti-Naxal case when it decided to transfer investigations into the arrest of Sadanala Ramakrishna, the Warangal regional engineering college alumnus who headed the technical committee of the CPI (Maoist).
Ramakrishna, who had gone underground 34 years ago - was arrested in Kolkata by a joint team of Kolkata police and Grey Hounds from Andhra Pradesh on February 29.
Thursday's meeting, attended by heads of central police forces deployed in anti-Naxal operations and the intelligence bureau, vetted the decision.
The meeting, chaired by home secretary RK Singh, also decided to transfer two more recent cases of seizure of weapons and communication equipment once the states concerned give their concurrence.
Since the logistics chain extends beyond state boundaries, it was felt at the meeting that an inter-state investigation was needed to ascertain the supply linkages and dismantle them.
The security officials also conducted an in-depth assessment of Naxal violence including the two high-profile abductions in Odisha and fine-tuned the tactics to be adopted by security forces.
Asked if the security establishment expected the release of over two dozen Naxals to encourage abductions, a senior paramilitary officer said it was too early to arrive at a conclusion, particularly since the state had not released many leaders so far.
"It was felt that we need to wait and watch the situation before arriving at a conclusion," he said.
"We do, however, feel that the two abductions did indicate that the Maoists in Odisha, as in Jharkhand, were operating independent of the Maoist leadership," the officer said.