Missing Togadia found, but mystery continues

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Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Pravin Togadia was found unconscious in Ahmedabad's Shahibaug area, hours after no one knew about his whereabouts.

Togadia, 62, made the allegations at a press conference, where he also said that he went into hiding as he feared the police would kill him in an encounter. Read Also VHP leader Pravin Togadia goes "missing" in morning, is found unconscious in evening In the middle of the media briefing, Togadia became emotional and broke down while narrating yesterday's events. Togadia claimed he then fell unsconscious, and on regaining consciousness, found himself in a hospital.

In October 2003, Ashok Singhal signalled his retirement due to ill health and Togadia was informally appointed as the leader of VHP.

"At Kotarpur they used the phone of driver Nikul and called the 108 medical service that Togadia was lying unconscious". He claimed an informant had told him of the "encounter" but refused to identify his source.

The mystery over Pravin Togadia's disappearance had deepened, with a senior police officer maintaining that neither the local Sola police nor Rajasthan Police had arrested him.

When asked if he feels that Ram Temple should be built in Ayodhya, Hardik said, "Whether it is Ram Temple or Babri mosque, we must focus on unemployed youths and farmers first and I am with him (Togadia) for the cause of minimum support price (MSP) for farmers and employment generation". He added that his voice was being "muzzled". The VHP leader has a case history of heart ailment. VHP workers held protests in different parts of Ahmedabad and Surat demanding that the "missing" leader be traced soon.

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Togadia repeatedly said that the attempts to kill him were targeted at breaking Hindutva "sangathans".

The Rajasthan police had confirmed on Monday that a team had gone to Gujarat to execute an arrest warrant, but said they were unsuccessful. "This is a serious issue and the state government should order an inquiry", said Gehlot.

On a related note, the Ahmedabad Metropolitan court earlier in January had issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against Togadia and 38 others, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Daskroi (Ahmedabad), Babu Jamnadas Patel, in a 1996 attempt to murder case. Patel, who backed the Congress in the recent Assembly elections in Gujarat, pointed fingers at Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah over claims made by Togadia. He was no longer the same. "It (Togadia's apprehension) is just a figment of imagination", Bhatt said.

He said that he has always respected judiciary and if he had been informed about the case, he would have willingly come to the court - as he has done in the past.

"Togadia was not at all arrested by our team". Am I a criminal. I myself don't know about many of these cases.

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