Ahmedabad: Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) chief Pravin Togadia on Tuesday said he had received a tipoff that he would be killed in a police encounter, a day after he was reported missing before being found in an Ahmedabad park in the evening.
“I have been on the radar of the central IB (Intelligence Bureau) since I have trained 10,000 doctors to serve the poor. When the IB started threatening them at their homes, I wrote a letter to them, to which they have not replied. They have tried to suppress my voice as I have been raising the issues of Hindus, raising my voice for a Ram mandir in Ayodhya, given shelter to Kashmiri Pandits and saved cows from slaughter,” he said.
“Yesterday, when I was offering prayers, a person came to me and said that people are coming to kill me in an encounter. I got out of my room and received a phone call informing me that a Rajasthan police team along with a team from the Sola police station (in Ahmedabad) is coming to arrest me. I took an autorickshaw after informing my guards and left for Thaltej. I called the chief minister and home minister of Rajasthan and asked them about the police team, but they denied knowledge of that. But I came to know that they have come with an arrest warrant for me. I thought I’d go to Jaipur along with my (VHP) workers and planned to surrender in court. Near the (Shahibaug) under-bridge, I fell unconscious and woke up to find myself in hospital,” the VHP chief said.
Togadia has been summoned by a Rajasthan court and a police team from the state was in Ahmedabad to execute an arrest warrant against the VHP’s international working president in a case relating to the deaths of three youths during a speech he had given about 10 years ago.
Togadia was found at Kotarpur, near the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, on Monday evening and was taken to a private hospital in Shahibaug in a “semiconscious state” that the doctors attending to him said was caused by hypoglycaemia, The Indian Express reported. He said he will surrender in court once he is discharged from the hospital.
Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convenor Hardik Patel, who visited Togadia in the hospital, said it “is a very serious matter that the voice of the chief of an international Hindu organization is being suppressed. This raises questions about what all is happening in Gujarat and across the nation,” he said.