Who wants to kill Pravin Togadia?
The VHP leader has alleged the Gujarat and Rajasthan Police planned an encounter to murder him.
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Firebrand Hindutva leader Pravin Togadia has been traced just as dramatically as he went missing, setting rumour mills off; his supporters in the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) running amok. However, the revelations made by VHP's international working president about his disappearance have left everyone shocked.
Togadia has alleged a conspiracy to bump him off in an encounter.
He revealed to a gathering of mediapersons that efforts were on to kill him in order to weaken the Hindutva forces in the country. Shockingly, he has also insisted that it is the Rajasthan and Gujarat police — which work under respective state authorities — that want to knock him out. Despite making such serious allegations, Togadia went on to say, "I have no complaints against the Gujarat Police, also I have no complaints against the Rajasthan Police."
VHP leader Pravin Togadia breaks down while addressing the media, says, “I am being framed in fake cases, there has been attempt to suppress my voice.”More videos at https://t.co/NounxnP7mg#ITVideo pic.twitter.com/zndkLvJNYA— India Today (@IndiaToday) January 16, 2018
To unravel the mystery surrounding who could want to kill Togadia, let's revisit the sequence of events over the past 48 hours or so.
Rajasthan police looking for Togadia
Rajasthan Police was on a hunt to execute an arrest warrant under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC against Togadia in a 12-year-old case that was registered after the VHP working president, along with many other leaders of the outfit, held a march violating police orders.
According to Togadia, while he was praying in his house, a man — could be a police official, a close aide or just anyone (Togadia didn't say who he was) — rushed to his room and told him to leave everything aside as "some people were out to encounter him (sic)". Again, we do not know who those people were.
Togadia said he got concerned because even though he is not scared of dying, he is concerned about what would happen to the country in case he is killed. Just as he was thinking about it all, he got a call on his number informing him that a contingent of police personnel had left Sola police station to arrest him. This contingent reportedly had the backing of Gujarat Police officials. He immediately left his house in an auto.
On the way, he called Rajasthan chief minister (Vasundhara Raje) and home minister (Gulab Chand Kataria) and enquired if police had been sent to arrest him. Togadia says both confirmed this wasn't the case and had it been the case, they would have been aware of it. Alarmed now, Togadia switched off all his mobile phones to avoid being tracked and killed.
He broke into a sweat and started feeling giddy while he was still in the auto. We do not know how he reached the park in Shahibaug, where he was found. Togadia went on to say that there has been a conspiracy against him since long and that if he had been spotted by the Rajasthan Police, the untoward could have happened.
Who is Togadia blaming?
Unable to fight his tears, the Hindutva mascot spoke in detail about the sequence of events. But the details remained sketchy.
If Togadia indeed had people informing him about every move of the police, he sure has the access to know on whose orders the alleged encounter plan was hatched. He asked the crime branch, ostensibly the Gujarat Police crime branch, not to succumb to political pressure and hound him.
The question is why is Togadia not coming out in the open about it? That the threat to him has come from police in two states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party, one being the bastion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself, raises grave questions over fissures in the Hindutva-driven nationalist ideology.
Togadia repeatedly said that the attempts to kill him were targeted at breaking Hindutva "sangathans". But why would proponents of Hindutva muzzle the voice of a fiery leader who has captured the imagination of the supporters of the nationalistic ideology?
Is it then the work of forces opposed to Hindutva? How and why are Rajasthan and Gujarat Police forces following such orders? These questions need urgent answers.
Togadia is a Z-plus category protectee, if he is trying to save himself running away in auto-rickshaws and disconnecting with the world by switching off his phone for the fear of being tracked down and killed, we are in serious trouble.
Deteriorating condition of Law & Order in Gujarat can be gauged from the fact that, Z+ Security protectee goes missing & is found hours later in unconscious state. If such a thing happens to Z+ Protectee, Imagine the plight of common Gujaratis. #LawlessGujarat #PravinTogadia— Bharat Solanki (@BharatSolankee) January 15, 2018
#PravinTogadia is a Z category security. if he can go 'missing', if he, with so much security, fears a threat to his life, an encounter by police, what about the all those who take on the government in #Gujarat?— Deepal Trivedi (@DeepalMirror) January 16, 2018
Togadia has promised to surrender before the court as soon as the doctors advise him. Togadia may not believe so but the law of the land is duty-bound to protect every citizen and ensure their right to life is protected.
He must lose no time in clearing the air about just who he fears is coming after him threatening to weaken the Hindutva sangathan that he worked so hard to build.