Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Pravin Togadia, made news on Monday when he went missing on Monday. He was later found in an unconscious state on Monday evening. He has claimed there is a threat to his life, and that his voice is being suppressed through threats of violence and false court cases.
Togadia, national working president of the VHP, insisted he was on his way to Jaipur to present himself before a court when he fell unconscious. “I told my security team I am going out by myself. I left alone at around 3 pm on Monday. But my health soon worsened and I fell unconscious. I don’t remember anything after that point. When I regained consciousness, I was in a hospital. I don’t remember which hospital this was, or even who brought me there. All I remember is that doctors told me my health isn’t good and I shouldn’t exert myself,” Togadia said on Tuesday.
He also denied all the charges levelled against him, saying they were borne out of vendetta, in order to muffle his voice. Furthermore, he said, there are also people making death threats. “A person came to me when I was praying and said they will encounter me. I didn’t pay him much attention initially, but then I started receiving calls as well that alleged the same. So now they are using both violence and court cases to target me. I have never run from the law and I don’t fear anybody. So, I am not running away. I am waiting until the doctors give me a clean chit of health and permit me to travel out of town. Once they do that, I will present myself before the court in Jaipur” he said.
On Monday evening, after news of Togadia going missing made the rounds, the activists created a ruckus in Ahmedabad, alleging that the police, in connivance with their Rajasthan counterparts, had taken Togadia into custody in connection with a 10-year-old murder case. Angry VHP workers on Monday took to streets after reports said Togadia had been arrested and continued sit-ins even after a Gujarat police statement that he had gone “missing”.
The police said that a contingent of Rajasthan Police had indeed come to arrest him under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC in an old case, but could not find him at his residence.
Earlier this year, on 5 January, Togadia had alleged a conspiracy had been hatched against him by a higher up in the BJP to implicate and jail him in a 1996 murder case by ensuring he did not get the summons issued against him.
But it looks like there is something fishy in all these developments.