The Ahmedabad police today dismissed VHP leader Pravin Togadia’s claim that he could have been killed in a fake encounter, saying it is not possible to eliminate someone who has ‘Z-plus’ security. A top police official also said that all the time he was ‘missing’ yesterday, Togadia was at his aide’s house. Togadia, who became untraceable for some time yesterday before he was admitted to a hospital, today claimed he went into hiding after learning that a police team from Rajasthan had come to “encounter” him. Speaking to reporters, Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, J K Bhatt said investigation revealed that Togadia was conscious — contrary to his account that he became uunconscious — on his way to airport. He reached a spot near the airport in a car owned by his aide Ghanshyam Charandas, who then called a ‘108’ ambulance. “Z-plus is one of the best security cover, as you get a pilot vehicle, a bulletproof vehicle and inspector-level armed personnel having AK-47 rifles. So it is nearly impossible to get killed in an encounter. It (Togadia’s apprehension) is just a figment of imagination,” Bhatt said.
According to police, after leaving the VHP’s office in Paldi area around 10.30 yesterday morning, Togadia reached Charandas’s house in Thaltej and stayed there till evening. “Around 8.35 pm, Ghanshyam and Togadia reached Sardarnagar area in Ghanshyam’s car. Then Ghanshyam called 108 ambulance service by telling the operator that an unidentified person is ill. When the ambulance arrived, Ghanshyam told the staff to take that person straight to Chandrmani Hospital in Shahibaug,” said Bhatt. Doctors at the hospital were possibly informed in advance about Togadia’s visit, as “call records even suggested that the doctor was contacted at around 6.00 pm over mobile phone”, the police officer said. “If Togadia wanted to go somewhere, he should have taken the security personnel along…This whole issue could have been avoided if he had taken the security personnel along,” Bhatt said. Togadia, addressing a press conference at the hospital, claimed that attempts were being made to silence him when he was raising the voice of the Hindu community.