Congress MLA Kawasi Lakhma on Monday alleged that he and the Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel had requested the police for adequate security cover to the party's rally, which they were refused along the route where Maoists ambushed their cavalcade on Saturday in Bastar region.
Lakhma suffered a bullet wound, each in a leg and ear, in the ambush before escaping the site.
"While returning from Sukma, I told Patel that I had sent a written request to the superintendent of police (SP) for adequate security during the parivartan yatra (party's political rally). Patel told me he too had requested for the same in the wake of Maoist threat. But we found no security personnel along the route," Lakhma said.
Lakhma termed the police statement "a blatant lie", which said the Congress leaders had changed the route on their way back from Sukma.
"The government simply wants to shrug off its responsibility. We never changed the route," he said.
While briefing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Sunday, Chhattisgarh director general of police Ram Nivas is believed to have advised the Congress leaders not to take the same route while going to and returning from Sukma.
Lakma, who represents Konta assembly constituency in Bastar region, one of the worst areas hit by Maoist insurgency in the state, said, Nand Kumar and his son Dinesh Patel were traveling in the same car when it came under fire.
According to reports, Nand Kumar consulted Lakhma on the best course of action when the Maoists asked the ambushed party to surrender. Lakhma rose and revealed his identity and a bunch of young Maoists separated him from the father-son duo.
He said they took Nand Kumar and his son away and asked the rest to move in another direction. Lakhma then escaped with his driver, hearing gun shots from the direction where Patel and his son were taken. The MLA and his driver reached a road where they spotted a bike and rode towards Darbha.