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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Rohtak: ashram to be vacated, tension prevails

PTI  Rohtak, May 14, 2013
First Published: 13:07 IST(14/5/2013) | Last Updated: 13:28 IST(14/5/2013)

Authorities on Tuesday decided to get the disputed Satlok Ashram vacated in an effort to defuse the situation in Karontha village in Rohtak which remained tense after Sunday's deadly clash between police and protesters.

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In view of the situation prevailing in the village, Rohtak's Deputy Commissioner Vikas Gupta exercising special powers under Section 144 of IPC ordered that the ashram be vacated immediately.

The row over possession of Satlok Ashram, headed by Rampal, had taken a violent turn on Sunday when police tried to stop Arya Pratinidhi Sabha activists from marching towards the ashram.

Three persons were killed and over 100, including 50 cops, injured in the clash. Tension has been brewing in the area for quite sometime as Arya Samajis claim the ownership of the ashram by Rampal is illegal.

With the situation continuing to remain tense in the village, chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda once again appealed to the people to maintain calm and peace.

Gupta, in a statement, said the decision to get the ashram vacated was taken to keep the situation under control.

He also urged villagers and activists of Arya Samaj protesting near Satlok Ashram to return back to their homes.

Earlier this morning, Arya Samaj activists had moved the body of 40-year-old Promila, who died in the clash, to a spot near the village from Rohtak-Jhajjar road, where they had earlier placed it to demand the release of their leaders.

While the Samaj activists taken into custody have been released, the activists had continued to protest demanding that the ashram be vacated only after which they will cremate the body.

A large numbers of followers of Rampal have been camping inside the Satlok Ashram for last three days, while villagers and Arya Samaj activists have been staging protest to mount pressure on the government over their demands.

Their demands include closure of Satlok ashram, martyr status to the three deceased besides adequate financial help to their kin.

Adequate police force besides 500 CRPF personnel has been deployed in the trouble-torn area to maintain calm.


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