'Missing' Togadia Surfaces in Hospital After Cops Close in on Arrest

A few days ago, in Gujarat, Pravin Togadia had alleged that the central government is hatching a conspiracy against him and he might be killed in a fake encounter.

Ahmedabad: Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s international president Pravin Togadia was found at hospital here late on Monday after he was reported untraceable since morning after a Rajasthan police team arrived to arrest him for his involvement in an old murder case.

Chandramani Hospital in Ahmedabad said that Togadia was brought to the hospital with low sugar and in a unconscious condition at 9.20 pm. Doctors say his condition is stable now.

Earlier, the VHP claimed that the Hindutva leader, who is given ‘Z’ plus security cover, was detained by the Rajasthan police, but cops denied it and said they had no clue about his whereabouts. Four teams have been formed to trace the Hindutva leader.

“Neither Rajasthan police nor Gujarat police has arrested Pravin Togadia. A team of Rajasthan police had come to Ahmedabad, but could not find him. A while before the team arrived at his house, he left in an autorickshaw with another person. We have no clue about his whereabouts right now,” joint commissioner (Crime), J K Bhatt said on Monday evening.

But this was not enough to calm the frayed tempers of angry VHP workers, who vandalized a police station, blocked a highway held and protests in different parts of Ahmedabad and Surat demanding that the "missing" leader be traced soon.

Addressing the media, Bhatt clarified that the briefing had been called with the sole aim of conveying the message that Togadia has not been arrested by police of any state.

"Hundreds of VHP workers had assembled outside the Sola police station in Ahmedabad believing that the Ahmedabad police had detained Togadia. We have reasoned out with them and also spoke at length with Ranchhod Bharwad, the state VHP president, that Togadia has not been arrested or detained," Bhatt told the media.

CCTV footage of places around his house at Ghatlodia and around the VHP headquarters at Paldi is being scanned for clues about his whereabouts.

State VHP spokesperson Hemendra Trivedi told News 18 that this case is a decade old murder case registered in Gangapur of Rajasthan. "This case was registered when Ashok Gehlot was the chief minister of Rajasthan. This is clearly and attempt to tarnish the image of Dr Togadia and we will launch a nationwide protest if he is really arrested by the police," Trivedi stated.

Meanwhile, political circles were abuzz with rumours that Togadia could have been tipped off about the Rajasthan police team by someone in Gujarat police. Togadia left his home only about half an hour before the team of Rajasthan police could reach his house. Despite enjoying Z category security, he and another unidentified person left in an auto rickshaw without any security guards accompanying him.