VHP leader Pravin Togadia goes missing, found unconscious after hrs in Ahmedabad

Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Pravin Togadia

The Ahmedabad Crime Branch on Monday said it had constituted a special team to look for Acting President of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad Pravin Togadia who suddenly went missing amid allegations that the Rajasthan Police took away the Hindu leader. The 62-year-old has been admitted to Chandramani Hospital in Shahibaug. We got to know through media reports that both Rajasthan and Gujarat Police have denied arresting him.

As soon as news of his alleged detention or arrest spread in the State, hundreds of VHP workers and supporters of Dr. Togadia gathered at Sola police station in Ahmedabad while angry followers even blocked highways in many towns across the State.

Alleging that the Sola police helped the Rajasthan Police arrest the VHP's worldwide acting president from Paldi area in Ahmedabad, the workers demanded to know his whereabouts.

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The joint commissioner of police had pointed out that Togadia had gone missing without his Z-plus security cover - the highest level of security cover provided in India.

The police said that a contingent of Rajasthan Police had indeed come to arrest him under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC in an old case, but could not find him at his residence. They were in the state searching for Togadia in connection with the murder in Rajasthan that took place 10 years ago.

The police have heightened security around the hospital.

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He left the office in an auto-rickshaw with a "bearded man" at around 10:45 AM today, said Bhatt.

The issue forced the VHP leadership to appeal to its workers and sympathisers to remain calm. City Crime Branch chief J K Bhatt said: "On Monday, Togadia arrived at 1 am at VHP office in Paldi with security staff". "Togadia was not at all arrested by our team. We have formed four teams to trace him", the JCP said. As per my information, the police team of Gangapur (in Rajasthan) is returning without executing the arrest warrant, as he (Togadia) was not found in Ahmedabad.

Bhatt further said "We are in contact with Ranchhod Bharvad who is Gujarat VHP's General Secretary".

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