A team of Haryana police reached Madhya Pradesh to search the ashram of cult leader Rampal in Betul, 175 km south from Bhopal, on Saturday.
The ashram is located on nearly 56 acres of land. After Rampal’s arrest following violence in Hisar, the Haryana police had found that he had a huge ashram in Betul, and that the ‘sewadars’ who resisted police entry into the Hisar ashram, were trained in MP.
The police team that came here visited the ashram on Saturday. The members of the team inspected the building and the under-construction structures on the premises. The Haryana police are conducting overall assessment of Rampal’s properties in the country.
"We are conducting investigation into Rampal’s activities. We are also here to probe the arms’ training that was imparted to Rampal’s volunteers," said Rajpal Singh, a police official who is part of the team. Some people were quizzed today, sources said. The team will stay in Betul and could go to the ashram again in the coming days.
Local residents said that the people in the ashram were rough and misbehaved with those living nearby. The locals say that no one was allowed to enter the Satlok ashram premises here and were threatened, as the people living here often wielded arms. They also claim that sounds of gunshots and crackers were heard from the ashram. Also, there were reports that in the front gate, electric current was flown to keep outsiders away.
The local ‘sewadars’ will also be quizzed by the Harayana team. The ashram is located at Urdan, nearly 10 km oustide Betul town. The Betul police have shared their inputs about the ashram and its activities with the Haryana police. Rampal, a cult leader in Haryana, is currently in jail. He was arrested after a massive police operation at his Hisar ashram.
Rampal was wanted in a murder case but he refused to submit to the law. Subsequently, Haryana police had reached his ashram. However, he used his followers as human shields. His private ‘commandos’ had fired at police too. After violence in which nearly half-a-dozen persons died, he was arrested. During investigation, it was found that these 'commandos' were given training in Betul ashram. Subsequently, the police team came here.