Missing VHP leader found in unconscious state in Ahmedabad

Pravin Togadia went missing from Ahmedabad after a Rajasthan police team came to arrest him in relation to a 2015 case

Speaking to reporters, Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, J K Bhatt said investigation revealed that Togadia was conscious - contrary to his account that he became uunconscious - on his way to airport. Hooked to an IV drip and blood pressure cuff, he held a 15-minute media briefing during which he broke down multiple times.

However, the mystery over Togadia's disappearance deepened, with a senior police officer maintaining that neither the local Sola police nor the Rajasthan Police arrested him. Togadia claimed that he had left Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) office in the city in an auto rickshaw on Monday morning after he was informed that a contingent of Rajasthan police along with Gujarat police was on its way for his "encounter". The case was registered based on presence of Togadia in a programme where three Hindus were killed. "They told me "they have not sent any police" and that "if something like this would be happening we would have known it"... It (Togadia's apprehension) is just a figment of imagination", Bhatt said.

The VHP had earlier claimed Togadia was detained by the Rajasthan Police in connection with the case, but the latter denied this. "I urge the workers to have patience". Contradictions galore Within a few hours, though, police exposed Togadia's crocodile tears. "After which Togadia switched off his cellphone". "They said they will try and get the cases quashed". But Gujarat Police have dismissed it as a "made-up story". Then my advocate advised that I move a petition to quash the warrant. I thus chose to go to Rajasthan and appear before the court. I do not remember what happened after that.

"If Togadia wanted to go somewhere, he should have taken the security personnel along.This whole issue could have been avoided if he had taken the security personnel along", Bhatt said.

"The Rajasthan Police had a search warrant for Togadia but no arrest was made".

He, however, said that as the VHP leader was accorded Z-plus security, a guard was always stationed outside his premises. Instead, Togadia and Kapuria sneaked out in an auto on Monday. Earlier Togadia had opposed the elevation of Modi for PM's post. "Nikul left in the auto before 108 staff arrived". The statement also suggests that prima facie analysis indicated that "Dr Agrawal of Chandramani Hospital, where Togadia remains admitted, had been contacted around 6 p.m. on his mobile".

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On arrival of ambulance, Ghanshyambhai instructed the driver to drive Togadia straight to Chandramani Hospital without any primary treatment. After all the VHP cadre is also drawn from the RSS. "Ghanshyambhai had claimed that he had been to Gandhinagar and Daskroi during the day but the technical analysis of his location suggests that he was at his residence throughout".

I was told that Rajasthan Police has left for my encounter, and they have not carried a warrant. "It is too soon to comment on what action will be taken". However, VHP general secretary Ranchhod Bharwad had only handed over an application in this regard, so this has turned into a bailable offence.

"Our International working president is missing since 10am today". I am raising issues like Ram temple, national law to ban cow slaughter, re-settlement of Kashmiri Hindus in that state, giving farmers fair price for their crops.

I am being targeted for a decade old case, there is an attempt to suppress my voice. BJP stalwart Atmaram Patel had been attacked and his dhoti pulled off. "This is a serious issue and the state government should order an inquiry", said Gehlot. According to them, BJP has gained power with the support of Hindutva outfits and the party can't sideline them now. "Togadia's allegations should be investigated", said Modhwadia.

The fact that police was not aware of his whereabouts fuelled speculations that a deeper conspiracy was at play behind his disappearance. I went there to meet Togadia because he was unwell.

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