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Pravin Togadia alleges plot to kill him, Gujarat police say his disappearance was staged

Countering his claim, the Gujarat police said Togadia 'faked' the entire incident in collusion with his driver and a doctor from the private hospital where he’s presently admitted.

Written by Satish Jha , PREETI DAS | Ahmedabad | Updated: January 17, 2018 6:34 am
Pravin Togadia, Togadia, VHP leader, Togadia life threats, Togadia missing, VHP chief missing, India news, indian express news Togadia addressed a 30-minute press conference Tuesday sitting in a wheel chair while an aide carried a saline drip. (Express photo: Javed Raja)

A DAY after he went missing and was found unconscious in a park in Ahmedabad hours later, VHP International Working President Pravin Togadia Tuesday alleged that he knew of a plot to kill him in a “police encounter”.

Countering his claim, the Gujarat police said Togadia “faked” the entire incident in collusion with his driver and a doctor from the private hospital where he’s presently admitted.

The Ahmedabad police Monday evening reported Togadia as “untraceable” even as a Rajasthan police team landed in the city to execute a court-ordered arrest warrant. While the VHP leader was found unconscious in a park and rushed to a private hospital

Joint Commissioner of Police, Detection of Crime Brance, J K Bhatt Tuesday evening told reporters that “the claims made by Pravin Togadia are false.” He said the police probe had found that Togadia and his associates faked the entire story in collusion with a doctor from the private hospital.

Pravin Togadia, Togadia, VHP leader, Togadia life threats, Togadia missing, VHP chief missing, India news, indian express news According to Togadia, “old cases” were being reopened against him “to suppress the voice of Hindus, the construction of the Ram Mandir and saving cows.” (Express photo: Javed Raja)

A senior DCB officer told The Indian Express that Togadia left his office (VHP headquarters) at 11 AM Monday morning and stayed with an associate identified as Ghanshyam Charandas at his house, which was captured in CCTV footage.

“At Kotarpur they used the phone of driver Nikul and called the 108 medical service that Togadia was lying unconscious. Based on statements of concerned persons and call data records it has been found that the doctor was informed much in advance and had told his staff to prepare for a VIP patient,” the officer said.

READ | Recuperating Pravin Togadia gets support from unlikely allies — Hardik Patel, Congress

Togadia addressed a 30-minute press conference Tuesday sitting in a wheel chair while an aide carried a saline drip. He broke down twice as he alleged the plot to have him killed. He claimed an informant had told him of the “encounter” but refused to identify his source.

Pravin Togadia with Hardik Patel on Tuesday. (Express Photo)

“An informant told me there was a plan to kill me in a police encounter. I got another call saying that a team of Rajasthan police was looking for me and to avoid any untoward incident after my arrest I left my office (VHP headquarters at Paldi) and told a security guard that I will be back,” he said.

Asked who was behind the conspiracy to kill him, Togadia refused to divulge names. He only said, “When the Gujarat Chief Minister and Home Minister do not know about the warrant against me, then who is behind it?”. He added that his voice was being “muzzled”.

ALSO READ | Pravin Togadia goes missing and is found, angry VHP workers hit Gujarat streets

According to Togadia, “old cases” were being reopened against him “to suppress the voice of Hindus, the construction of the Ram Mandir and saving cows.”

Pravin Togadia, Togadia, VHP leader, Togadia life threats, Togadia missing, VHP chief missing, India news, indian express news Asked who was behind the conspiracy to kill him, Togadia refused to divulge names. (Express photo: Javed Raja)

Among those to visit him Tuesday were Patidar quota agitation leaders Hardik Patel and Dinesh Bhambaniya, and retired IPS officer DG Vanzara who is out on bail in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case and discharged in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case.

Togadia and the BJP have been at odds recently after the VHP leader, particularly after his statements on cow vigilantees. Togadia had publicly differed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue and had said the PM had insulted gau rakshaks by calling such groups anti social.

Togadia was reported missing Monday morning when a team of Rajasthan police knocked on his door in Ahmedabad’s Sola area. By the late evening protests had erupted across the state after VHP members took to the streets.

Togadia’s close aides claimed that such warrants issued against him would increase. Sources believe an internal power struggle in the VHP in which one faction want him to leave his present post is the cause.

“Since 2001 when Narendra Modi became the chief minister and 2002 post Godhra riots, the charm of Pravinbhai started to fade. He was no longer the same. And over the past few years people within the VHP are not happy with his working style,” said a VHP functionary.

According to RSS and VHP office bearers “It is now well-known that once bosom friends Togadia and Modi don’t go along for quite some time.” Togadia has openly attacked Modi even after the latter became PM. In 2015 Togadia attacked Modi’s foreign policy with Pakistan and said that “instead of Sarees, shawls and mangoes” there should be a cross border strike.

Togadia is said to be going public in the days to come over the cases against him.

“I am not escaping from the law. I have no complaints with Gujarat or Rajasthan police about searching my room. Am I criminal? I have not done anything wrong. I request the Crime Branch not to work under political pressure,” Togadia said at the hospital.

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  1. Afzal Khan
    Jan 18, 2018 at 1:00 am
    I admit that I am not a supporter of Narendra Modi, BJP, RSS, Congress or any other political party. Their self-interest reigns supreme but right now this is not just political distaste. I hold them responsible for religious, intellectual and cultural hate in this country. They have been fooling everyone. One person condemns the killing the other is silent, another makes an instigative remark and then another distances the party from the statement. While this shatranj goes on, their online stooges are let loose. Watching all this, the PM remains a mute spectator and when he speaks, it is just lip service. The current government reminds me of George Orwell’s 1984. BJP and entire Sangh Parivar have not only poisoned the minds of almost every citizen, the governance and even autonomous bodies like Judiciary ECI, CBI, NIA etc but have achieved a larger goal of polarizing our secular country on communal lines which is extremely dangerous for the safety, security and integrity of our country
    (0)(0)
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    1. Krishna Kant Singh
      Jan 17, 2018 at 11:23 am
      Ha ha!
      (3)(1)
      Reply
      1. Mohamed Khan
        Jan 17, 2018 at 10:44 am
        Cudnt beleive this man who used to shout his lungs out giving hate speeches was crying on national tv.... Karma is real !!!
        (25)(0)
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        1. V
          vishnu bhat
          Jan 17, 2018 at 10:26 am
          raving lunatic, this VHP spokesman Togadia. He needs to be treated for mental illness.
          (1)(0)
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          1. AS Bawa
            Jan 17, 2018 at 10:17 am
            Togadia's emotional and religious blackmail of Hindus referring to saving cows etc. etc. He is as criminal as likes of assa, ramrahim for misleading devoted Hindus.
            (20)(0)
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