Togadia Taken into Custody, Released

Fireband VHP leader Praveen Togadia, taken into custody while attempting to get into riot-hit Kandhamal district in spite of prohibitory orders, has been released by Orissa police, said reports.

“Togadia was released on a bond and he left for Bhanjanagar in Ganjam district,” Kandhamal SP Pravin Kumar was quoted as saying.

Togadia was arrested last night under Section 151 of the CrPC when he made a bid to enter Kandhamal along with his supporters.

State government had earlier banned Togadia’s visit to the area due to the commnunally-fragile nature of the district, where widespread violence occurred in August 2008 following killing of VHP leader Lakhsmananda Saraswati.

In the meantime, the district VHP unit of Kandhamal organised a 12-hour bandh protesting Togadia’s arrest.

Police said that all shops and business establishments were closed but educational institutions and government offices functioned as usual, said reports.

“We are not blocking roads and closing schools in view of the ongoing Annual High School Certificate examinations,” VHP state General Secretary Gouri Kumar Rath was quoted as saying.

Togadia started his three-day visit to Orissa on March 18 and will leave for Andhra Pradesh after addressing rallies at Bhanjanagar and Berhampur.

(Based on internet reports)

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