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'Missing' VHP president Pravin Togadia found unconscious, being treated for low blood sugar level

VHP international working president Pravin Togadia, who was "untraceable" since this morning when a contingent of Rajasthan Police came to arrest him in an old case, was found in an unconscious state at a park here tonight.

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VHP international working president Pravin Togadia, who was "untraceable" since this morning when a contingent of Rajasthan Police came to arrest him in an old case, was found in an unconscious state at a park here tonight.
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 Chandramani Hospital. 

Ashok Kumar, JCP Sector said that someone called 108 Emergency saying they had seen a man lying near the Khoterpur Circle behind Ahmedabad Airport. He said: “Around 9pm somebody called the 108 Emergency after he saw a man lying near the Kotarpur Circle behind Ahmedabad airport and after which the 108 emergency took him to Chandramani Hospital."

Doctors said his sugar level was 30 when he was taken to the hospital but it’s normal now.

The VHP claimed Togadia (62) was detained by the Rajasthan Police in connection with the case, but the latter denied this.

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

Sola police station officials said a team of Rajasthan Police visited them today to execute an arrest warrant against Togadia under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC, but could not find him at his residence.

According to a senior Crime Branch officer, Togadia, a resident of Thaltej area in the city, boarded an auto-rickshaw from the VHP headquarters in Paldi area this morning and has been untraceable since.

Addressing a press conference this evening, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) J K Bhatt said neither the Sola police nor the Gangapur police in Rajasthan have arrested Togadia.

"The Rajasthan Police went to Togadia's residence in Thaltej area with the Sola Police to execute an arrest warrant (at around 10:45 AM) this morning. But, Togadia was not found there. However, VHP workers thought that he was arrested, which is not true," Bhatt told reporters.

Citing the investigation by the crime branch so far, the officer said Togadia was present at the VHP state headquarters in Paldi area of the city since last night.

He left the office in an auto-rickshaw with a "bearded man" at around 10:45 A.M today, said Bhatt.

"A SRP (State Reserve Police) jawan, who was deployed outside the VHP office, told us that Togadia and a bearded man called an auto-rickshaw and left the office at around 10:45 A.M. Before leaving, Togadia told the security staff the he will be back within 30 minutes. We have formed four teams to trace him," the JCP said.

VHP workers held protests in different parts of Ahmedabad and Surat demanding that the "missing" leader be traced soon.

The VHP claimed that Togadia was detained by the Rajasthan Police.

The Sola police said they were not aware of the whereabouts of the saffron leader.

VHP workers gheraoed the Sola police station, shouted slogans, and blocked traffic on main Sarkehj-Gandhinagar highway, demanding that the police immediately locate Togadia.

"Our International Working President Pravin Togadia is missing since 10 A.M today. The responsibility of his whereabouts and security lies with the administration," the VHP's Gujarat unit general secretary Ranchod Bharwad told reporters.

He said it was not yet confirmed weather Togadia was arrested or not.

VHP spokesperson Jay Shah, however, claimed that Togadia was detained by the Rajasthan Police in an old case.

"Our leader Pravin Togadia has been detained in an old case and was taken away by the Rajasthan Police from the VHP state headquarters in Paldi area of the city," he said.

However, the Rajasthan Police denied having detained or arrested Togadia.

"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.

Sola police officials said the Rajasthan police had sought their help in executing the arrest warrant against Togadia.

"Rajasthan police today sought our help to execute the warrant against Pravin Togadia, as his residence falls in our area. The warrant, related to section 188 of the IPC, was issued by a sessions court in Gangapur. We took the Rajasthan Police to Togadia's residence (in the morning) but he was not found there," said Sola police station inspector J S Patel.

He said the team of the Rajasthan Police left after it could not find Togadia.

"It is not true that he is in our custody. We do not know his whereabouts," the inspector added.

At around 4 PM, a group of 40 workers of the VHP laid a siege to Sola police station and shouted slogans for the "release" of their working president.

Later, another group of VHP workers blocked the busy Sarkhej-Gandhinagar highway, but police broke up the protest.

Similar protests were held in Paldi area here and in Surat city during evening.

In Paldi, VHP workers blocked roads and damaged some buses. The situation was brought under control after police rushed to the spot.

VHP general secretary Champat Rai has expressed concern over the disappearance of Togadia, but said that he was confident that the coordinated efforts of the Centre and the state governments of Rajasthan and Gujarat would ensure Togadia was traced soon.

In a statement in Delhi, Rai said that the organisation was informed about the disappearance of Togadia by a section of the media.

"We were told that a section of media was told by some officials of Gujarat and Rajasthan police that no arrest has been made till now. Then the matter becomes very serious. We are confident that Centre and the state governments of Rajasthan and Gujarat will take the matter seriously and with coordinated efforts will find him soon," Rai said.


With inputs from PTI

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