LIVE: Godman Rampal’s supporters clash with police, many injured in crossfire at Hisar ashramhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/tension-in-hisar-as-police-plan-to-storm-rampals-ashram/

LIVE: Godman Rampal’s supporters clash with police, many injured in crossfire at Hisar ashram

‘Godman’ fails to appear in HC, fresh NBW issued,

Hisar: A police officer makes an announcement near the Satlok Ashram for the arrest of Sant Rampal in Hisar on Monday. (Source: PTI)
Hisar: A police officer makes an announcement near the Satlok Ashram for the arrest of Sant Rampal in Hisar on Monday. (Source: PTI)

The supporters of self-styled godman Rampal clashed with police outside his ashram in Hisar even as police tried to get inside the premises to arrest him.

Several people have been injured as police fired tear gas shells and Rampal’s supporters hurled stones at each other. According to intelligence inputs, there are around 30,000 supporters inside and around the ashram and some of them are carrying .315 caliber rifles. They also believe there are around 120 firing trenches inside the ashram.

Followers shield the Satlok Ashram of Sant Rampal in Hisar on Monday to resist his arrest. (Source: PTI)
Followers shield the Satlok Ashram of Sant Rampal in Hisar on Monday to resist his arrest. (Source: PTI)

Police have been firing water cannons since 12:10 pm to control the unruly mob, which has assembled for the past few days to prevent his arrest.

 

 

 

 

Earlier on Monday, animated supporters of self-styled godman Rampal thwarted the police efforts to arrest him from his Hisar ashram after he again failed to appear before the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a contempt case.

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Security men stand guard in front of the Satlok Ashram for the arrest of Sant Rampal in Hisar on Monday. (Source: PTI
Security men stand guard in front of the Satlok Ashram for the arrest of Sant Rampal in Hisar on Monday. (Source: PTI

The supporters poured kerosene and diesel on themselves, and threatened self-immolation as the police tried to barge into the Satlok ashram. The police, meanwhile, have started dispersing supporters and removing vehicles of the followers in order to storm the compound.

“All devotees of Baba Rampal Satlok ashram have been asked to vacate it as soon as possible. Followers who peacefully come out of the ashram will be provided with facilities to reach the railway station and bus stand,” said M L Kaushik, Hisar deputy commissioner.

Earlier, the High Court issued a fresh non-bailable warrant against Rampal even as his ashram’s spokesperson Raj Kapur claimed that he had already been shifted to a private hospital because of his “deteriorating” health. He, however, did not name the hospital.

Rampal, who is facing charges of conspiracy to murder, inciting mobs and contempt of court, was asked to appear before the High Court. He has failed to appear before the court thrice – November 5, November 10 and the latest being Monday.

The ashram’s claims, however, were disputed by Haryana DGP S N Vashisht. “As per our information, he is very much inside the ashram. The entire ashram has been cordoned off by the police. Thus, there is no chance that he could have been moved out,” he told The Indian Express.

Observing that the Haryana government was lacking the “will” to arrest Rampal who was “bold enough” to hide inside the Satlok ashram behind a human shield, the High Court asked the police to produce him on November 21.

The division bench comprising Justices Jeyapaul and Darshan Singh made it clear to Haryana DGP Shriniwas Vashisht and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) P K Mahapatra, who were present at the hearing, that in case they failed to ensure execution of the fresh non-bailable warrant against the godman, both would again appear before it with an explanation.

The court said it was “pained to note” that the Central government, the governments of Punjab and Haryana as well as the Chandigarh administration had incurred huge expenditure for deploying force for implementation of the

HC’s directions. It, later, directed the Assistant Solicitor General of India, Advocate Generals of Punjab and Haryana, and Senior Standing Counsel of Chandigarh to file a statement reflecting the expenditure borne during the hearing of the case and also during the course of implementation of the High Court orders.

Refusing to entertain the state government’s explanations that Rampal’s arrest could lead to loss of human lives due to perceived violence, the court said, “We are not believing all those excuses. Do you think that small-time criminals will take advantage of such situation?”

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Appearing for Rampal, advocate S K Garg Narwana submitted, “He is unwell. He is ready to appear before the court within a week when he is well. There is no need to use force.”