Raipur: Congress leaders on Monday denied reports that the route of the ill-fated 'Parivartan Yatra', which came under Naxal attack on Saturday in south Bastar region, had been changed at the last moment.
The convoy of Congress leaders was attacked at Jiram Valley in Darbha region when it was returning from Sukma to Jagdalpur. Twenty-right people including Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel and veteran leader Mahendra Karma were killed and 37 others including former union minister VC Shukla were injured.
Reacting to reports in local media about last-moment route change, former Chief Minister and Congress veteran Ajit Jogi said, "Rally's route was not changed. MLA TS Singhdeo was in-charge of the route schedule and he had submitted the same route chart thrice for security approval.
"Convoy was proceeding according to its pre-decided schedule. This was a sheer security lapse," Jogi said. Dantewada MLA Kwawasi Lakhma, who was with Patel during the attack, too said there was no change of route.
"According to the plan we were moving to Keshlur in Darbha region via Tongpal. I was with Nand Kumar Patel and his son Dinesh in the SUV. We were talking about the security arrangements. I told him that I had written to police for providing security on the Darbha route but there was no security," he added.