The Shiv Sena on Thursday questioned the Bharatiya Janata Party about the allegations Vishwa Hindu Parishad International Working President Pravin Togadia (pictured above) made on Tuesday.

At a press conference in Ahmedabad, the VHP leader had alleged that attempts were being made to silence him for raising matters related to the Hindu community, such as on the Ayodhya dispute, welfare schemes for farmers and the law on cow slaughter. He made the statement a day after he was reported missing.

In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP National President Amit Shah to clarify Togadia’s claims and said pro-Hindutva leaders in India feared for their lives.

The Sena asked whether murderers posing as policemen were trying to reach the VHP leader. “Such tactics of removing an unwanted person were prevalent under the Communist regimes in Russia and China,” the Sena, the BJP’s ally in Maharashtra, said. “During the Emergency, political opponents were paralysed by the government...After the new government [the National Democratic Alliance] came to power, the voices of many, including Lal Krishna Advani, were stifled.”

The party said it was surprising that a leader like Togadia, who is known for giving fiery speeches, was left in tears. “If this is fear or silence, it is a question worth pondering over,” the Saamana editorial read.