Updated: January 15, 2018 8:49:52 pm
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Monday claimed its international working president Pravin Togadia was missing after a Rajasthan police team came in Ahmedabad to arrest him in relation to a 2015 case. The Ahmedabad crime branch confirmed that Togadia was missing and said they were investigating his whereabouts.
The VHP blamed the Rajasthan Police, saying Togadia went missing after he was detained by them. However, the police team said they could not find the VHP chief at his residence when they came to execute an arrest warrant against Togadia under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC in an old case.
But, that was not enough to calm the tempers of the 40 VHP members, who ransacked the Sola police station and blocked traffic on Sarkehj-Gandhinagar highway. They demanded that Togadia be traced immediately. “Our International Working President Pravin Togadia is missing since 10 am. The responsibility of his whereabouts and security lies with the administration,” PTI quoted VHP’s Gujarat unit general secretary Ranchod Bharwad as saying.
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Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Jay Shah claimed Togadia was detained by the Rajasthan Police and was taken away by them. “Our leader Pravin Togadia has been detained in an old case and was taken away by the Rajasthan Police from the VHP state headquarters in Paldi area of the city,” he said.
However, the Rajasthan Police denied rumours that Togadia was in their custody and said they were returning empty-handed. “Togadia was not at all arrested by our team. The police team of Gangapur (in Rajasthan) is returning without executing the arrest warrant, as he (Togadia) was not found in Ahmedabad,” said Inspector General of Police, Bharatpur range, Alok Kumar Vashishtha.
Gangapur town is in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan and falls under the jurisdiction of Bharatpur range of the state police. Sola police officials said the Rajasthan police had sought their help in executing the arrest warrant. “Rajasthan police today sought our help to execute the warrant against Pravin Togadia, as his residence falls in our area. The warrant, related to section 188 of the IPC, was issued by a sessions court in Gangapur. We took the Rajasthan Police to Togadia’s residence but he was not found there,” said Sola police station inspector J S Patel.
On January 5, the Ahmedabad Metropolitan court had issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against Togadia and 38 others, including BJP MLA from Daskroi (Ahmedabad), Babu Jamnadas Patel , in a 1996 attempt to murder case.
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