Ayodhya, August 25; Even as Vishwa Hindu Parishad president Pravin Togadia was arrested from Ayodhya on Sunday for defying prohibitory orders against the 84-kosi parikrama yatra, his appearance from a temple remained a mystery in view of the tight security arrangements by the State.
There were speculations that Mr. Togadia must have entered the town days before the administration sealed the borders of Faizabad district to stop the yatra, which is being held in support of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. However, sources informed The Hindu that Mr. Togadia had breached the security and entered the temple town late on Saturday night despite having an arrest warrant issued against him.
VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma admitted that, “Togadiaji arrived in Ayodhya on Saturday night in a vehicle.”
Asked how Mr. Togadia was facilitated to breach the heavy security arrangement, Mr. Sharma said, “It is still a mystery. But all I can tell you is that he entered Ayodhya just like how senior VHP leaders entered the town in 1992.”
Faizabad range DIG B.D. Paulson also conceded that Mr. Togadia had managed to enter the town late on Saturday night.
“We came to know about it but didn’t know the location. We kept getting the locations and arrested him as soon as he broke the prohibitory orders,” he said.
How Mr. Togadia managed to enter the town, when he, on Sunday morning, courted arrest amid dramatic scenes in front of a large posse of journalists, officials and security personnel, he said: “These are assumptions we cannot answer.”
A high-ranking police officer, wishing to remain anonymous due to administrative reasons, said: “The security personnel were on duty from 3.am. He could have entered before that. Ayodhya has many lanes which he could have used.”
The Congress party has been terming the yatra and its ban a fixed-match between the SP and the BJP.