The Punjab and Haryana High Court Monday issued fresh non-bailable warrants against controversial sect leader Rampal and directed the Haryana government and police to present him definitely in court Friday.
The high court directed the Haryana home secretary and director general of police (DGP) to give a written explanation on why Rampal, a self-styled godman, had not been arrested earlier despite court directions.
Defying non-bailable arrest warrants issued against him, Rampal again failed to appear before the court Monday. He cited medical reasons through his counsel for his non-appearance.
Authorities in Hisar Monday afternoon directed the sect followers to vacate the ashram complex and warned them against creating any disturbance. Security personnel could be seen closing in on the ashram complex. A number of buses, in which sect followers had come to the ashram, were towed away by police cranes.
"All the followers and devotees of Baba Rampal Satlok Ashram have been asked to vacate the ashram as soon as possible as the Punjab and Haryana High court has issued non-bailable warrant against Baba Rampal," Hisar Deputy Commissioner M.L. Kaushik said.
He said the "high court has ordered police to arrest Baba Rampal and produce in the court at the earliest".
The Punjab and Haryana High Court Monday rapped the Haryana government and the police for failing to arrest Rampal and present him before the court.
A division bench of the high court came down heavily on the Haryana government and the police for failing to bring the defiant sect leader before it. The court questioned the state government move to withdraw security forces and police from near the sect ashram near Barwala in Haryana Sunday evening.
A spokesman of the sect leader's Satlok Ashram in Haryana's Barwala town said Monday morning that Rampal was medically unfit to appear before the high court in Chandigarh.
"His medical condition does not permit him to go out. Doctors have advised him bed-rest till Nov 19," the ashram spokesman said.
Tension prevailed outside the ashram complex since Sunday as hundreds of security personnel surrounded the complex and thousands of followers of the sect leader also provided a shield to the ashram by camping outside.
Thousands of followers of the godman, including hundreds of women and children, have been camping outside his ashram, 210 km from here, for nearly a fortnight to prevent security forces from entering the complex to arrest Rampal.
Rampal, who is facing charges of murder conspiracy, inciting mobs and contempt of court, was asked to appear in the high court where he has failed to appear thrice so far.
The high court last week directed Haryana Police and state authorities to arrest and bring Rampal before the court. The high court bench said Rampal should be "smoked out even if he is hiding in a bunker".