A local court in Hisar district of Haryana acquitted self-styled godman Sant Rampal in two cases. The verdict came a day after CBI special judge Jagdeep Singh awarded 20 years of rigorous imprisonment to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case.
In 2014, police were ordered to arrest Rampal, 67, after he failed to appear in court 43 times. When police officials reached his Satlok Ashram in Hisar to arrest him, Rampal’s followers barricaded themselves inside the 12-acre premises. Power and water supply to the ashram were cut off after authorities realised he will not surrender peacefully. After two-week stand off with police, he was finally arrested in November, 2014.
Sant Rampal case verdict Live updates:
4:55 pm: Rampal had resisted a police operation for his arrest on the Punjab and Haryana court orders. He had even refused to appear in the High court to reply to charges like contempt of court.
3:00 pm: Sant Rampal will remain inside Hisar jail, since there are other cases pending against him.
2:52 pm: Two cases were registered against Rampal and 11 others in connection with the violence in which five women and a baby were killed that happened after the godman tried to resist the security forces from arresting him.
2:45 pm: “Godman Sant Rampal has been acquitted in the two criminal cases. He has been acquitted in the two cases (426 and 427). Its a victory of truth,” A P Singh, Lawyer said.
2:05 pm: A special court was set up inside Hisar Central Jail to pass the verdict in the case. The authorities had earlier asked the court to postpone the verdict due to the heavy clashes in parts of Haryana following the arrest of Dera chief.
2:00 pm: The court’s verdict is expected at 2:45 pm.