Three names including that of Ramana and Papa Rao, Maoist leaders hailing from Andhra Pradesh, are doing the rounds as the alleged masterminds of the brutal massacre of 76 policemen in the Dantewada region of Chhattisgarh.
Investigators from the central and state security agencies claim that the tell-tale signs of the audacious attack pointed to the involvement of Ramana, Special General Secretary of Dandakarnya region, as the mastermind who was assisted by two of close assistants.
Dandakaranya is the the forest tract in the central-southern part of the country that cover parts of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra where CPI (Maoist) virtually run a parallel government envisioning a "liberated" zone.
50-year-old Ramana hails from Warangal area, once the hotbed of Naxalites, and has been active in Dantewada region for long. He is involved in many strikes on security forces.
Another name emerging out of the investigations was that of "Papa Rao", who is a close assistant of Ramana and well versed with the topography of the area.
According to intelligence inputs picked up after the attack, the sources said name of "Hidma", military advisor to the Jagarbandhu area committee, has also cropped up during investigations into the gory incident.
CRPF personnel, who were out on an operation against Naxals in thick forests, fell victims to the deadliest attack yesterday morning that left 76 dead.
The police personnel were relaxing in Mukrana forests of Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, one of the strongholds of the naxals, when the attack took place between 6 AM and 7 AM on a batch of 82, including 81 CRPF personnel.
The personnel were returning to the base camp as part of joint operation when it came under fire from hill features just about four kilometres away.