After missing for 12 hrs, VHP’s Pravin Togadia found unconscious in hospital
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Pravin Togadia was found in an unconscious state in a private hospital in Ahmedabad, almost 12 hours after he was reported missing and alleged to be arrested by the Rajasthan police, triggering protests.
The firebrand Hindtuva leader was reported missing from VHP’s office in Ahmedabad Paldi area around 10.30 am after Rajasthan police had landed there to serve a court warrant in connection with a 2001 case.
“Dr Togadia was brought here in 108 Ambulance in a semi-conscious state. His sugar level was very down at the time of admission. But he has been recovering fast and is stable,” said Dr Rupkumar Agrawal of Chandramani private hospital where he was found.
The doctor said that he was brought around 9.20 pm.
According to a statement of the VHP, Togadia, who suffered from low blood sugar levels, was found lying in an unconscious state at a park in Shahibaug and was taken to the hospital.
Preliminary reports revealed that the VHP leader was brought to the hospital in Shahibaug from Kotarpur Water Works area in the city.
He had left the VHP office, without his Z category security, in an auto-rickshaw with a bearded man, police said.
Earlier in the day, VHP leaders and workers claimed that the Rajasthan police had, with the help of Gujarat police, detained him. They staged a protest and road blockade in Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Surat, demanding he be brought back.
“Our international working president Pravin Togadia is missing since 10 am today (Monday). The responsibility of his whereabouts and security lies with the administration,” VHP’s Gujarat unit general secretary Ranchod Bharwad said.
The Rajasthan police denied the allegation, saying it had not been able to locate him.
“Togadia was not at all arrested by our team. As per my information, the police team of Gangapur (in Rajasthan) is returning without executing the arrest warrant, as he (Togadia) was not found in Ahmedabad. It is a rumour that Togadia is in our custody which is not true at all,” 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.
The Gujarat police maintained that to serve the warrant, it assisted the Rajasthan police in finding Togadia at his home and office, but he was not found.
The police had maintained that he was neither found nor detained by either Rajasthan or Gujarat cops.
The warrant was issued by a sessions court in Gangapur under the Indian Penal Code’s Section 188, which pertains to disobedience of a public servant’s order. Togadia had allegedly violated prohibitory orders under Section 144 — which limits the assembly of people — in the Rajasthan town 16 years ago.