Even as Vishwa Hindu Parishad president Praveen Togadia was arrested here on Sunday for defying prohibitory orders against the 84 Kosi Parikrama, his appearance from a temple remained a mystery in view of the tight security arrangements by the State government.
Speculation is rife that he might have entered the town days before the administration sealed the borders of Faizabad district to stop the yatra.
However, sources told The Hindu that Mr. Togadia breached the security and entered the temple town late on Saturday night.
VHP spokesman Sharad Sharma admitted that “Togadiaji arrived in Ayodhya on Saturday night in a vehicle.”
Asked how Mr. Togadia breached the heavy security cordon, Mr. Sharma said, “It is still a mystery. He entered Ayodhya just like senior VHP leaders entered the town in 1992.”
Faizabad range DIG B.D Paulson also conceded that Mr. Togadia entered the town late on Saturday night.
Sunday morning saw the administration and VHP leaders play cat and mouse with each other. Security personnel raided various locations suspected to be the hideouts of VHP leaders on the ghats of the Saryu.
However, before Mr. Togadia’s arrest, senior officials and journalists scurried from one place to another in search of him. Moments before he was held, Mr. Togadia appeared in a Hindi news channel interview from what appeared to be inside a temple in Ayodhya.
Surrounded by supporters and seers, amid chants of “Jai Sriram,” Mr. Togadia courted arrest at the Golaghat area after emerging from a temple.