Almost proving his own ominous apprehensions correct, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) international working president Pravin Togadia on Wednesday morning survived a questionable road mishap near Surat in south Gujarat.
After going into hiding for half a day in January this year, the rabble-rousing Hindutva leader had expressed fears that he may be finished in an ‘encounter’.
A fortnight after Togadia going missing, the Gujarat government had dropped the 1996 case against him for disrobing BJP’s septuagenarian minister Atmaram Patel minutes after the party’s first Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had finished his maiden public speech after swearing-in.
Atmaram Patel was the target of VHP and Bajrang Dal activists at Vajpayee’s rally as he had joined the 1995 rebellion against the BJP ministry led by Keshubhai Patel.
Following his narrow escape from the accident near Kamrej in Surat district on Wednesday morning, Togadia said that he could have been killed had his vehicle not been a bullet-proof one.
A speeding truck had hit Togadia’s SUV from behind, but the Hindutva leader escaped unhurt. The VHP leader hinted that the Gujarat Government has deliberately ‘weakened’ his Z plus security. The Surat police have arrested the driver and seized the truck.
Hinting at a conspiracy against him, Togadia said that no escort vehicle was provided behind his vehicle as per Z plus security protocol.
The VHP leader said he was entitled to a pilot vehicle to move ahead of his vehicle and an escort vehicle and ambulance behind it along with another vehicle on one side.
“While there was a police vehicle piloting our SUV, no escort vehicle was provided behind our vehicle,” Togadia alleged.
Smelling a rat in the whole episode, Togadia found it strange that the truck driver didn’t apply the brakes even after hitting his SUV and also the road divider thereafter.