New Delhi: India lost 15 more of its soldiers to Maoist terror on Wednesday in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli. They were part of the state police’s special C-60 squad.

Is it time for an all-out war against Red Terror? It certainly is. While India’s paramilitary is held up in polling duty across states, it gives the core security think-tank a 25-day window to plan a combined, multi-state flush out-and-kill operation.

Here are key suggestions for an offensive.

A Combined all-out operation

A full-scale joint military operation involving central forces and specialised police teams of all nine affected states of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Bengal, Andhra, UP and Telangana.

Deploy sleekest weapons, tech, drones

Operations need to be aided by better satellite imaging and the use of other technology. Drones, for instance, can be great for surveillance. More helicopters should be used to detect and transport forces and goods.

However, aerial attacks and bombing with a nation’s sovereign territory tend to alienate the people as they perceive it as outsider intrusion.

A lot more night-vision and forest terrain equipment needs to be deployed.

Hire more locals and tribal for combat and intelligence

Already squads like C-60 are manned mostly by locals who know the terrain and its quirks. One needs to hire more young men and women with local intelligence and also form spy squads.

Road and mobile connectivity on a war footing

Wherever roads have reached, the Maoist poison has mainly been neutralised. Dantewada town, for instance, is today a bustling education hub with women’s hostels, tutorials and colleges.

Maoists often attack road-building parties because they realise this fact.

Go after Urban Naxals and supply chain

Urban Naxals are the most insidious apparatus which provides Maoist terror with oxygen. They operate in plain sight in academia, intelligentsia and media, and build the moral and intellectual support system for the militancy.

Recent arrests after the Bhima-Koregaon violence exposed how dark and sinister the cabal is, how they pitch for funding and operate nationally and globally, how their designs even extend to plotting the PM’s assassination.

Also, the supply chain of arms and money needs to be snapped. ISI linked have been unearthed in the past.

Reward operation heroes, informers with money, morale

Make it worthwhile to risk one’s life in fighting terrorism. Make heroes out of the op commanders. Appoint inspiring team leaders. Elite squads like Cobra often suffer because of low morale and politicking by seniors. That needs to change.