Top naxal leader Katakam Sudershan alias Anand was leading the Maoist operation that managed to wipe out a sizable section of top Congress leadership in Chhattisgarh on Saturday, security sources said on Sunday.
Sudershan, 56, is secretary of the central regional bureau of the CPI (Maoist) and also a member of the politburo, the top decision making body of the naxal outfit.
The area where the attack took place comes in what Maoists term as the Dandakaranya region and it is the responsibly of the central regional bureau of the party.
His name had figured in the Datewada massacre also in which 76 CRPF personnel had lost their lives. He carries a reward of more than Rs 12 lakh on his head. Sudershan is known for strategic acumen.
"The operation was led by Sudershan. He is from Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh. His wife Sadhana, who died few years ago, was also member of the CPI (Maoist)," said a security official.
Sources say besides Sudershan, another top naxal Nambala Keshav Rao alias Basavraj may also be involved in the operation as he is the chief of central military commission of the CPI(M).
"For operations of such big scale, a go ahead from the central military commission is a must. Basavraj was involved in the Maoist operation to manufacture and procure rockets and grenade lauchers. The NIA has declared a reward of Rs 10 lakh. On the top of Maoist hierarchy is party's secretary general Ganapathy," said a home ministry official.
Two years back, in an interview, Sudreshan had said that Salwa Jadum, the anti-Maoist campaign launched under the leadership of Mahendra Karma, the main target of the Saturday's attack, was basically operation tribal hunt.