VHP International Working President Pravin Togadia’s car was hit by a trailer truck on NH-8 at Kamrej in Surat on Wednesday afternoon. The trailer truck’s driver, identified as Rajkumar Raut, a resident of Saraspur village in Dungerpur district of Rajasthan, was arrested by police after a case was registered. Togadia was headed to the RSS headquarters (Nagpur) after halting for the night in Vadodara with his commandos and personal assistant in a Scorpio on Wednesday.
Togadia, who is protected under Z-plus security, has alleged that there was only one escort car trailing his SUV after he crossed Bharuch district and entered Surat. The incident took place near Hotel Manisha on NH-8 in Surat after the driver of the trailer truck lost control and hit Togadia’s car from the driver’s side. After moving ahead for a few metres, the police in the escort car, realising there was an accident, waylaid the trailer truck and checked whether Togadia and others were safe.
The policemen also caught the driver and brought him to Kamrej police station where a complaint was registered by Togadia’s car driver along with the head constable of Ahmedabad Police, Harisinh Vaghela. The police seized the trailer truck and arrested the driver.
Togadia, who held a press meet at a private bungalow in Saurashtra soon after the incident, said, “I question Surat police: How a person, with Z-plus security, was not provided a police escort on the rear side of my car. We had intimated the Gujarat police about my journey from Ahmedabad to Vadodara and also to Maharashtra. The police security, both in front and back of my car, was proper till Bharuch, but when Surat district limit started, only one escort car was provided which was moving ahead. There was no escort car on the back.”
The VHP leader said his security escort was “removed” on someone’s “instruction”. He sought an independent investigation into the incident. He told media persons, “The police should investigate the driving licence of the trailer truck driver and check whether it has been renewed or not. The police should also check the call data records of the driver during the last three months and check with whom had he talked and under whose guidance had he done such an act.”
He said, “I roam across the country and everywhere, the police department provides escorts ahead and at the back of my car. In Surat, why was only one escort car provided to me? I am safe by the grace of God.” He added, “There is something suspicious happening to me for the last few months. After 21 years, Atmaram Patel case was opened and after the opposition and protest by thousands of people, the case was withdrawn. My question is that why was the case not withdrawn in 21 years.”
Earlier, in January, Togadia had gone missing for a day and was allegedly found in an unconscious state in a park after the Rajasthan police had visited Ahmedabad with an arrest warrant against him. Togadia had then alleged that the state machinery was being used against him.