People had come to kill me, claims Togadia, police say it is ‘made-up’ story

VHP leader Pravin Togadia. Image credit: The Indian Express

–TMC Desk

Ahmedabad, Jan 16: A day after he reappeared from his brief disappearance, Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s international working president Pravin Togadia on Tuesday expressed the possibility that he may be killed. But Gujarat Police have dismissed it as a “made-up story”.

Togadia was found unconscious in a hospital in Shahibagh locality in Ahmedabad late on Monday after being reported missing in the day earlier.

“I am being targeted for a decade old case, there is an attempt to suppress my voice. Rajasthan Police team came to arrest me. Someone told me the plan was to kill,” Togadia said at a press conference in Ahmedabad.

However, on Tuesday evening, Gujarat Police termed as a “made-up story” Togadia’s claim that Rajasthan Police along with its Gujarat counterparts had a “hidden conspiracy” to kill him and added that it did not match with the investigations into his day-along disappearance drama on Monday.

Ahmedabad Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) J.K. Bhatt told reporters that there was no truth in Togadia’s claims before the media that he fell unconscious and was brought to a hospital after a dramatic fall in his sugar levels.

“He was never unconscious. He was fine and organised his own shifting to hospital on Monday night,” Bhatt said, on the basis of police interrogations, CCTV footage and call details. The VHP International Working President enjoys Z-Plus security cover.

Rajasthan Police also denied rumours that they had arrested Togadia.

Bharatpur Range IG Alok Kumar Vashishth, in a press note, said that their team has not arrested went to his residence in Ahmedabad with an arrest warrant on Monday, but came back empty-handed as Togadia couldn’t be found there.

According to Rajasthan Police, the case was filed against him when he called a public meeting in Gangapur city in Sawai Madhopur in April 2002 in defiance of prohibitory orders.

Togadia meanwhile said Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and state Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria had assured him that there was no police action underway against him.

“They told me ‘they have not sent any police’ and that ‘if something like this would be happening we would have known it’… When I realised the CM and Home Minister are denying the police action, I switched off all my mobile phones so that my location could not be traced…. Later I got to know that they (police) have come with an arrest warrant,” he said.

On Monday, Togadia was brought by people to the private Chandramani Hospital in an “unconscious state”, which the doctors claimed was caused by low level of sugar.

According to the Crime Branch, Togadia left the VHP office in Paldi at around 10.30-10.45 a.m. on Monday and was accompanied by VHP worker Dhirubhai Kapuriya. Kapuriya informed the guard posted outside the VHP office that Togadia would be back in 15-20 minutes. Both then left around 11.08 a.m. in an autorickshaw.

“They then went to the place of another VHP worker Ghanshyambhai Charandas at Thaltej around 11.31 a.m. and left for Nehrunagar at around 2 p.m. After which Togadia switched off his cellphone.”

Around 7.52 p.m., Ghanshyambhai’s driver Nikul Rabari was summoned and they reached Sardarnagar area at around 8.33 p.m. Ghanshyambhai apparently called 108 Emergency ambulance service from the driver’s phone, stating that an unidentified person was unwell. After that, Nikul Rabari was asked to leave the venue and both Ghanshyambhai and Togadia waited for the ambulance to arrive.

On arrival of the ambulance, Ghanshyambhai instructed the driver to drive Togadia straight to Chandramani Hospital without any primary treatment. After having ensured that Togadia had reached the hospital, Ghanshyambhai left.

“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. This is contrary to the claim made by him,” according to the Crime Branch statement.

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”.

“We would definitely take the statement of the doctor,” Bhatt told media persons that police was yet to record the statements of Togadia and the doctor.


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