On the day Maoist guerrillas carried out the worst massacre of security personnel by trapping and slaughtering 75 men in the dense forests of Chhattisgarh, Gopal, a top Maoist leader, said the attack was a "direct consequence" of the government's Operation Green Hunt offensive.
"The attack in Chhatisgarh and the earlier one in Orissa is a direct consequence of the Central Government persisting with Operation Green Hunt," Gopal, 'area commander' of Bihar-Jharkahnd-northern Chhatisgarh, told BBC's Hindi Service in an interview.
"There has been no impact of Operation Green Hunt (paramilitary offensive against Maoists in five states) on our cadres. We have become more alert since then. We believe that the time to engage in direct battle with the Central Government has now come. There is a new revolutionary zeal in our cadres," he added.
"We have been surrounded by paramilitary battalions. They are setting fire to the forests and making adivasis (tribals) flee. In this situation, we have no other alternative (but to stage attacks).
"We were prepared to talk to the government. Chidambaram Sahab wanted a 72-hour ceasefire but our leader Kishenji offered a 72-day ceasefire. But we wanted an end to Operation Green Hunt and release of our leaders held in various jails to create the right environment for talks. But Chidambaram refused," he said.