Ashram vacated,protesters clear highway

Protesting Arya Samaj followers on Wednesday lifted their four-day blockade of National Highway 71 at Karontha village in Rohtak,after the police vacated Satlok Ashram of its chief Rampal and his followers.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: April 14, 2014 3:01:54 pm

Protesting Arya Samaj followers on Wednesday lifted their four-day blockade of National Highway 71 at Karontha village in Rohtak,after the police vacated Satlok Ashram of its chief Rampal and his followers. Following this,the protesters cremated Promila,who was among the three persons killed in a clash between protesters and the police on Sunday.

They have also agreed to cremate Udayvir of Baliyana,another protester who died in the clash and whose body the protesters had refused to claim from Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Rohtak,police claimed. The body will be handed over to his relatives on Thursday,following post-mortem examination. The third person who died in the clash,Sandeep of Panipat,has already been laid to rest.

The protesters had initially refused to lift the blockade and cremate Promila until Satlok Ashram was razed. The demand had left the Haryana government in a catch-22 situation as the Supreme Court had ordered it to maintain status quo at the ashram,that is,its possession must remain with Rampal. The state government,however,found a way out — it shifted Rampal and his followers to his ashram at Barwala in Hisar.

On Wednesday,the protest was finally lifted after the district administration took a delegation of Arya Samaj followers and showed them that the entire ashram had been vacated.

“Since the district administration ensured prompt and stern action against Rampal and his followers for hurting the religious sentiments of the followers of Arya Samaj,we agreed to lift the blockade and performed Promila’s last rites,” Acharya Jitender,one of Arya Samaj leaders spearheading the protest,said.

The police,meanwhile,has rushed more personnel to Barwala police station,a few kilometres from Rampal’s ashram.

“We have kept our men ready to deal with any untoward incident. We did not deploy the force around the ashram in Barwala because it would have created an unnecessary panic among residents,” a senior police officer in Hisar told The Indian Express.

Karontha violence failure of Hooda govt: INLD

The INLD on Wednesday blamed the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government for Sunday’s violence in Karontha village saying that the administration had failed to heed the warning signs and allowed the situation to slip out of control. The party leaders also submitted a memorandum to Governor Jagannath Pahadia,demanding that the Hooda government be dismissed and a judicial probe be ordered into the incident.

While speaking with mediapersons,INLD leader and MLA Abhay Chautala said: “Hooda and his son Deepender are responsible for the Karontha violence. Instead of solving the issue,the Hooda duo rather tried to worsen the situation,in which three persons were killed and many injured. The chief minister was aware of the situation since two months but did not try to resolve the issue.”

“No effort was made by the state to reach out (either) to the Arya Samaj or the Satlok Ashram. If talks had been held with both sides,the loss of lives and injuries could have been avoided,” he added. Chautala further said that prior to the Rohtak incident,the government had lathicharged labourers in Gurgaon. “In Rohtak too,temporary teachers were shot at in which a teacher died,” he added.

Quoting instances of agitations that had taken place in Ambala,Bhiwani,Hansi and Mayyar in Hisar district,in which innocent people had died in police firing,Chautala said: “During the tenure of the current CM,over 20 people have been killed in such clashes. When people were being attacked by the police,the CM was roaming over the area in a helicopter.”

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