The Ahmedabad Metropolitan court on Thursday issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) to VHP leader Pravin Togadia and 38 others, including BJP MLA from Daskroi (Ahmedabad), Babu Jamnadas Patel , in the 1996 attempt to murder case. The warrants were issued to ensure the presence of all accused in the case before the court on January 30.
The case pertains to a BJP event at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad on May 20, 1996. Then senior BJP leader Atmaram Patel and several other leaders of the party were attacked allegedly by Keshubhai Patel loyalists. Atmaram Patel, a Shankersinh Vaghela acolyte, had to flee as his attackers pulled at his dhoti. The incident, known as the “Atmaram dhoti kaand” brought the internal rebellion within the BJP to the fore and eventually led to Vaghela breaking away from the BJP to launch his own party.
A complaint was lodged by Atmaram Patel with Naranpura police station. Police had registered a case of attempt to murder and rioting. The investigation was handed over to the Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch.
Among other accused are several political figures. One of them is a senior advocate, Minesh Vaghela, who was the then a councilor. Minesh Vaghela confirmed the development and said, “The magistrate’s court has issued the NBWs against all accused, including me.” He, however, said that there was nothing “political” about the development.