Togadia exonerated in 1996 case as Guj govt seeks case withdrawal

Togadia exonerated in 1996 case as Guj govt seeks case withdrawal

Togadia exonerated in 1996 case as Guj govt seeks case withdrawal

The Ahmedabad Metropolitan Court on Tuesday acceded to the request of the Gujarat government to withdraw the case against Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Pravin Togadia and 38 others in an "attempt to murder" case pertaining to a 1996 incident.

The court has also exonerated all the accused in the case.

The case pertains to a political event of the BJP, organised at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad on May 20, 1996. Then senior BJP leader, Atmaram Patel and those believed to be loyal to Shankarsinh Vaghela, who had revolted against the then Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, were attacked by Kesbhubhai loyalists. Atmaram Patel had to flee for his life, virtually half-naked as attackers stripped him of his dhoti. This incident had brought the internal rebellion of the BJP out in the open, leading eventually to Vaghela breaking away from the BJP to launch his own Rashtriya Janata Party.

This is also the same case in which the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Court had earlier this month issued Non-Bailable Warrants against Togadia and 38 others, including sitting BJP MLA from Daskroi (Ahmedabad), Babu Jamnadas Patel, for not appearing before it. Togadia had then cried foul and dubbed the entire incident as a "conspiracy" by "someone in Delhi", stating that the police never delivered him summons despite him having Z+ security apparatus.

Embarrassment

Togadia had also created embarrassment for the ruling BJP government a fortnight ago when he went missing for ten hours in another case. Later, Togadia was found in a hospital, from where he again hit out at BJP government, accusing it of plotting an "encounter" against him.

However, on Tuesday, as soon as the court convened for hearing the case, the government lawyer put up a request before the magistrate stating that the state government was not in favour of fighting the case. The magistrate acceded to the request for withdrawal of case and acquitted all the 39 accused.

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