n neighbouring Jharkhand, Chief Minister Arjun Munda met top police and Home Department officials at his residence to chalk out a new strategy after Kishenji's death. He asked the police to demolish the Maoist leaders' hideouts. The meeting was attended by five MHA officers. Munda reportedly told the officers that Maoists from Andhra Pradesh, who were operating from Jharkhand, should be told to return to their home state or face the consequences.
Jharkhand DGP G.S. Rath said that post Kishenji's death, the state police was working on a list given to them by the MHA containing the names of 10 top Maoist leaders operating in the state. The Jharkhand police is currently pursuing the dreaded Kundan Pahan, who is the South Chhotanagpur Zonal committee commander. His name features on the MHA list.
"Our mission is not to catch them, but to kill them," said a deputy superintendent of police who is part of anti-Maoist operations in Jharkhand. "The last couple of years have been bad for the Maoists as they lost five-six politburo members to the security forces. They are now facing a leadership crisis," he added.
Officials say that there was nothing random about the killing of Kishenji. It was part of a well-chalked out strategy of liquidating the top leaders, rather than going after the foot soldiers, as was the practice earlier.
Vishwaranjan, who was till recently Chhattisgarh's director general of police (DGP), said that Kishenji's death has been a big jolt for Maoists operating from different states. Kishenji, till three months ago, was camping in Chhattisgarh and his brother, Sonuji, is the politburo in-charge of the organisation in the state. "Even though Kishenji was focusing more on West Bengal, his death will cripple Maoists all over the country," said Vishwaranjan.
G.S. Rath's immediate predecessor, Vishnu Dayal Ram, told this newspaper that incidents of holding kangaroo courts and killing civilians would come down after Kishenji's death. He admitted that the forces were concentrating on eliminating top Maoist leaders.