Chhattisgarh Director General of Police Vishwa Ranjan's directive to security forces is simple: "Don't fear Maoists."
Ranjan Friday told policemen and paramilitary personnel deployed in areas dominated by the rebels through an open letter to boost their morale following the killing of 76 security personnel this month.
"It's not the time for police and paramilitary personnel in Chhattisgarh to fear Maoists but actually the time to take effective action against them," Ranjan said.
"In future, Maoists can stage bigger attacks cunningly. So, to escape these imminent attacks and (to) dismantle their terror camps, we need to be highly alert," Ranjan said.
Referring to the April 6 attack in Dantewada in which 75 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers and one policeman were killed, Ranjan said: "We have to draw a lesson from the attack and must win the hearts of local people which is necessary to free the villages and areas held by Maoists."
He added: "Maoists want to bring down the morale of those policemen fighting to protect democracy. We have to recall the oath we took when we were inducted into the force... If we get upset, the country will not be safe."
Chhattisgarh's Bastar region, made up of Dantewada, Bastar, Bijapur, Narayanpur and Kanker districts, is spread over 40,000 sq km and has been a Maoist stronghold since the late 1980s.